By: Ann Brashares
Published: Riverhead Hardcover; June 2010
Synopsis: A romance that stretches across centuries and past lives constitutes the core of Brashares's varied second adult novel, the first in a planned trilogy. The story is primarily that of Daniel, as, in the present, he pursues Lucy (whom he knows as Sophia in a previous life) and attempts to persuade her of their history and destiny, but his passion initially and understandably scares her off. He disappears, presumed dead, but Lucy, unable to forget him, investigates his claims of their history until she discovers the truth. Meanwhile, Daniel takes readers on a tour of romantic near-misses, from sixth-century Africa through eighth-century Turkey to WWI.
My Take: This is my first Brashares novel. Don't get me wrong, I know all about 'The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants,' I just never read them but man, did I love those movies! I was just a little too old when they came out to have wanted to read them and then I saw the movies so didn't feel the need to go back and read them so when this book came out I was excited to read a book by her.
I think we've all read a time traveling love story at this point so there isn't too much that's new here. Daniel, whom the story centers on travels forwards not forwards and backwards. He remembers all of his previous lives. The theory in this book is that we are reincarnated and most people don't remember their previous lives. Daniel is unique because he can. He remembers his lives all the way from ancient Africa until now so that's a lot of lives and people to remember! His anchor to this world is a woman by the name of Sophia. He is, you might say, obsessed with finding her and getting her to love him. She is not blessed by the gift of memory like he is although she is constantly reincarnated. Sometimes they don't see each other for hundreds of years and sometimes they come back at vastly different ages, however finally, in the present they are only a couple of years apart and Daniel is determined to get Sophia (now Lucy) to remember the love they've shared over the centuries.
There were some things I really liked and some things that bothered me about this novel. First, the positive. I enjoyed the trips down memory lane. They reminded me of a historical fiction novel, yet only shown in quick bursts. It was interesting to see how Daniel built upon his lives to survive and it was an interesting theory on the lives we lead. To me, it was also pretty simple to figure out what was happening. Unlike, say 'The Time Traveler's Wife' which was hard for me to follow, this one, I knew where and when they were, no problem.
What bothered me about it was that I was surprised to learn this was not written for teenagers because the love story was so overwrought. Granted, Daniel had been searching for his love for hundreds of years but maybe my passion just wasn't quite there for them. It was just a little too much. He never once, would have loved someone else? It's a little, well, unrealistic.
However, I enjoyed it and would recommend it. It's billed as becoming two more books so if you like it, you may just get a couple more books out of it the coming years too!
Cover Lust: Honestly, this cover also led me to believe it was for the young adult market. It's got a butterfly on it. Not that I have anything against butterflies, it's just that I'm a grown woman and this book is written from a male point of view for adults and their is a butterfly on the cover. See where I am going with this?
(Thank you to Crazy Book Tours for sending me this book)