Coming through on the tour bus today is The Memory Painter by Gwendolyn Womack. We’ve got a review, all the details on the book and yes, of course, a giveaway so settle down in your comfy pants and get ready to hear the awesome on this book.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
THE MEMORY PAINTER
Author: Gwendolyn Womack
Release Date: April 28th, 2015
Internationally famous and reclusive artist Bryan Pierce has a secret. He paints memories of people who have lived in the past. His whole life he has suffered from these recalls. To keep his sanity he paints the dreams and hides from the world—until at an art opening, Linz Jacobs sees one of his paintings that is identical to a recurring nightmare she’s had her whole life. When they meet it becomes the catalyst for Bryan to begin to remember the life of a neuroscientist who died in an accident along with his wife in 1980, right as they were on the brink of curing Alzheimer’s. Solving the mystery of their deaths will lead Bryan and Linz to an even greater legacy buried deep in the past. Both a thriller and a timeless love story, THE MEMORY PAINTER spans six continents and more than 10,000 years.
I literally fell in love with this book on so many different levels, I’m not even sure where to start. This book is an experience. It’s a little bit like reading Dan Brown and Audrey Neffinegger and David Mitchell all at the same time, and it’s heaven.
So much so that when my review copy got lost in the mail, and my eReader got left on the plane, I chose to spend half of my vacation at the beach inside reading this book on my computer because it was the only option I had left, and I don’t regret a minute of it.
The story centers around Bryan and Linz as they first meet and discover that this is not the first lifetime they have known each other in. Linz remembers one other, but Bryan can remember them all, and they all include her. There’s this heartbreaking dynamic of him knowing her in so many more ways and also the pain of seeing the person you love die or suffer over and over again through time. There’s also a fascinating premise here with these past life memories all being triggered by a drug trial, and there are many interwoven subplots to keep your mind whirling.
The author does an amazing job of painting these past lives with such depth and emotion in each scene that you can’t really say this book feels like reading anything set in any one time or place, or even with any set of characters. It’s a fascinating wild romp through world history and you never know where you will end up next, but you know it will tear at your heartstrings.
At the same time, there are mysteries to be solved, complicated relationships being untangled and recurring patterns playing out. It’s a love story, it’s a reincarnation story, it’s a mystery thriller, it’s a beautiful historical time travel story and its just a little bit sci-fi. It feels literary but it absolutely defies genre and that’s what I think I love about it most. It doesn’t matter what it is, because it’s a great story.
I was actually shocked to learn this was a debut novel. The writing is simply on point. Her words are chosen with care, never flowery or showy, but precise and often full of truth. She can take two sentences to introduce a pair of characters in such a way that they are unique, perfect, and I already love them before they’ve said a word. It’s quite a talent.
Review copy courtesy of Publisher
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Originally from Houston, Texas, Gwendolyn Womack began writing theater plays in college while freezing in the tundra at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. During that time she lived in St. Petersburg, Russia on an independent study working with theater companies. She went on to receive an MFA from California Institute of the Arts in Directing theater and film where she was encouraged to write her own material. After graduating she focused on writing feature screenplays and was a semi-finalist in the Academy’s Nicholl Fellowship. In 2009 she moved to Japan and began to write THE MEMORY PAINTER the following year. Currently she resides in Southern California with her husband and son where she can be found at the keyboard working on her next novel. THE MEMORY PAINTER is her first novel.
One Winner will get a signed copy of THE MEMORY PAINTER and a vegvisir charm.