The Memorist: M.J. Rose
Publication Date: November 1st, 2008
Beneath a dome nature had carved out of limestone, David Yalom circumnavigated the rim of the underground canyon without once glancing into its black crevasse
When Meer Logan was a little girl, she was always haunted by images of a life that wasn’t hers. Her father always believed that Meer was reliving past-life memories that were triggered by a mysterious Beethoven melody that only Meer could hear. During these dark days, Meer’s drawn illustrations were always of a small treasure chest, but Meer could offer no explaination as to why this treasure chest was the only element she ever drew, and no one could figure out where Meer had even seen such a box.
Years later, when Meer is an adult, her sixty-five year old father, refered to as the “Jewish Indiana Jones”, works in an antique auction house in Vienna, and finds the gaming box, matching all of Meer’s drawn pictures, listed on in the catalog. Inside the box is a letter that implies that the gaming box was a present from Beethoven to his beloved. Inside the letter are clues to an ancient flute that is said to possess mystical powers to control memories. Upon this revelation, Meer flies to Vienna, Austria and soon she and her father are on the trail towards finding the powerful flute. But, an ancient artifact like this is not found easily. Meer and her father, Jeremy, are soon swept away in an adventure story filled with murder, music, and vengence.
The story is told through the course of nine days, and is told through many different perspectives. Although Meer is at the heart of the novel, other characters include Malachi Samuels, the elusive reincarnationsist that thwarts the FBI at every move and the man who helped Meer control her visions as a child. Sebastion Otto, David Yalom, and ISTA make up the colorful set of characters that round out the story.
What I found the most refreshing about this novel, is that it is part historical novel, (Beethoven/Vienna buffs will be pleased), it is a murder mystery, an adventure story. For the first time in a long time, a book actually took me out of my element and put me in a brand new world. People always tell me that they read because they want an escape from their life. I read because I like stories, not so much to escape. This book felt like an escape to me, and I can see the appeal of reading for that reason. I feel like the past few books I’ve been reading have been such duds, and this book is a welcome breath of fresh air. The writing is descriptive, yet terse. The characters are fully developed, full of their own history and stories. The 9 day timeframe is the perfect box to contain all the events that take place. I can’t say enough about this book. Meer is a fantastic heroine, vulnerable, but still instinctively smart and clever.
At 531 pages, this book is not a quick read, nor should it be. It helped that as I was reading this book I watched an episode of Passport to Europe, where the host Samantha Brown flew to Vienna. That helped me visualize the setting and the locations and make the story that much more real.
FINAL GRADE: A+The Memorist by MJ Rose Mira Books, 2008 ISBN 0778325849 531 pages