Hello! Today I’m featuring a review of The Memory Painter! At the bottom is also a giveaway for a $25 gift card and an Eye of Horus Necklace!! Stay tuned Monday for an interview with Gwendolyn Womack as well.
I don’t have much time to read lately with my work and home schedule, and when I do I have to read quickly, so I like books that can captivate me and take me away for a few hours when I take a summer break and spend an evening at the beach. I have to say that The Memory Painter was perfect for me to take along on our annual Fourth of July day out. I had been dying to read it and it immediately was swept into the story. Here’s the synopsis:
The Memory Painter: A Novel of Love and Reincarnation
by Gwendolyn Womack
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Paperback; 336 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Time Travel/Mystery/Romance
Finalist for the 2016 RWA Prism Awards for Best First Book & Best Time Travel/ Steampunk category.
Two lovers who have travelled across time.
A team of scientists at the cutting edge of memory research.
A miracle drug that unlocks an ancient mystery.
At once a sweeping love story and a time-travelling adventure, Gwendolyn Womack’s luminous debut novel, The Memory Painter, is perfect for readers of The Time Traveler’s Wife, Life After Life and Winter’s Tale.
Bryan Pierce is an internationally famous artist, whose paintings have dazzled the world. But there’s a secret to Bryan’s success: Every canvas is inspired by an unusually vivid dream. Bryan believes these dreams are really recollections―possibly even flashback from another life―and he has always hoped that his art will lead him to an answer. And when he meets Linz Jacobs, a neurogenticist who recognizes a recurring childhood nightmare in one Bryan’s paintings, he is convinced she holds the key.
Their meeting triggers Bryan’s most powerful dream yet―visions of a team of scientists who, on the verge of discovering a cure for Alzheimer’s, died in a lab explosion decades ago. As his visions intensify, Bryan and Linz start to discern a pattern. But a deadly enemy watches their every move, and he will stop at nothing to ensure that the past stays buried.
The Memory Painter is at once a taut thriller and a deeply original love story that transcends time and space, spanning six continents and 10,000 years of history.
It’s not too far fetched to say I was intrigued by these words….time travel, art, egypt. But of course, there was so much more as I came to find out. I am not a fan of romance novels, but I AM a fan of original ones that tear at your heart strings, that seem soul ribbing real, and are underlying to the main thriller plot. You can just feel it as they feel it, no need to be overly descriptive with it type of thing. So yes, as it describes there is a love story, but it’s quite an interesting one!
The plot moves quickly a good amount of the time, from the beginning and then again by the middle. I was a tad bogged down by the scientific element, and didn’t quite connect as much to Linz, one of the main protagonists and a neuroscientist. I did love how intelligent she was, fierce, a chess player in more ways than one, but she also seemed more aloof than Brian, the other protagonist, who is an artist. Of course, being a writer and a lover of the arts myself, he seemed more open, creative, and sensitive to me. I find often it’s the other way around when authors form characters, especially a duo of man and woman, in books, right? So really, I don’t have to connect to each character only if they are the same gender as me, we all are different. That I connected to him was enough and though I didn’t connect to her, I still realized she was fully dimensional and just as complex as he. Then, of course, there are all the characters we meet as we slip and slide back through time. Just make sure you are paying attention so you know who is who and how the correlation goes along with the plot. However, though Womack is less with drippy descriptive atmospheric details, she is wonderful at showing and not telling the reader about a scene or a character’s personality, which is priceless. For a first time author, she writes cleanly and for the screen. Less is more in sentences, creating a scenic flow.
I loved discovering the mystery with Linz and Brian, uncovering layers of how they connected, the dreams, the past times and lives. It was intrigue to me the tie in of him as a painter who paints reoccurring dreams and she a research scientist on memory with similar dreams. I love art representing the soul, the universe within you. I loved traveling to ancient Egypt and the idea of an advanced civilization. It’s something I’ve always pondered about Egypt in my studies. As one of my degrees is in history, that’s when my eyes really started to perk and I immersed myself into the story, completely lead along the entire time by the desires of these characters. They wanted to tell me their story and understand the connections that reincarnation brings within the universe and how it affects our memories.
It’s an original idea, maybe a few too many changes in character and time that some readers might not like because it takes a lot of attention, but overall it was a superb start to a writing career and I can’t wait to read the next novel.
A thriller and mystery of the mind, heart, soul, and universe that outreaches the normal bounds of our fast-paced thinking and extends us into looking past our self-made boundaries of love, life, and humanity. Highly recommend reading if you connect to deep thinking books of love and life and the ties that bind science and history.
Praise for The Memory Painter
“Gwendolyn Womack’s tale dazzles.” ―US Weekly (Standout Spring Novels)
“…hang on for a wild and entertaining ride around the world and through the centuries back to ancient Egypt.” ~ Library Journal, starred review
“A sweeping, mesmerizing feat of absolute magic. . . . ” ~ M.J. Rose, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Witch of Painted Sorrows
“Layers of past and present form a rich pastry of a narrative, poignant and thoughtful, rich and suspenseful, filled with intrigue and dripping with meaning… ” ~ Charlie Lovett, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Bookman’s Tale and First Impressions
Author Gwendolyn Womack, Biography
Originally from Houston, Texas, Gwendolyn Womack began writing theater plays in college at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She went on to receive an MFA from California Institute of the Arts in Directing Theatre, Video & Cinema. Currently she resides in Los Angeles 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.
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