Book Review: *The Memorist* by M. J. Rose

  • The Memorist by M.J. Rose
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: MIRA (November 1, 2008)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778325840
  • Back of the Book Blurb;   International bestseller M.J. Rose has written a gripping and unforgettable novel about a woman paralyzed by the past, a man robbed of his future, and a centuries old secret.

    The dreads are back.  As a child, Meer Logan was haunted by memories of another time and place, always accompanied by the faint strains of elusive music.  Now the past has reached out again in the form of a strange letter that sets her on a journey to Vienna to unlock the mystery of who she once was.  With each step, she comes closer to remembering connections between a clandestine reincarnationist society, a lost flute linked to Ludwig van Beethoven, and David Yalom, a journalist who understands all too well how the past affects the future.  

    David knows loss first hand–terrorism is a reality that cost him his family.  He’s seen every solution promised by security experts around the world–and he’s seen every solution fail.  Now, in a concert hall in Vienna, he plans to force the world to understand the cost of those failures in a single, violent act. 

    Because those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it…

    She is Too Fond of Books’ Review:  M. J. Rose’s The Memorist is a thriller that expands and illustrates that last line of the publisher’s synopsis:  … those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.  The novel is a gripping tale of murder and conspiracy, wrapped around a centuries-old artifact which may hold the key to not only remembering past lives, but to releasing people from “unfinished business” which haunts their current incarnation.

    Meer Logan is a woman who has denied the possibility that it is a past life intruding on her when she hears mysterious music and see visions that don’t fit into the world she knows.  Her father, Jeremy, has worked for years to not only convince Meer of this possibility, but to help her unlock her past, thus proving the connection.

    In one section, Meer uses Cicero’s “Method of Loci” or “memory palace” technique to help memorize information.  I find this system, which plays a major role in Debra Dean’s The Madonnas of Leningrad, fascinating.  Rose has her characters describe it like this:

    “Let’s say you wanted to memorize a speech.  You’d start by choosing a building that’s familiar to you … You’d walk it a few times in your mind, studying specific rooms or areas so they were very clear to you and then, breaking the speech into separate parts, you’d connect each to an object in a room.  When you want to remember the speech, you walk through the building in your mind’s eye and, seeing each object, you’ll be reminded of that part of the speech.”

    Like her mention of Cicero’s “Method of Loci,” Rose inserts many other well-researched facts into her novel, such as funeral customs in the ancient Incus Valley, binaural beats, and the effects of sacred music or chanting; Rose includes an extensive suggested reading list in an appendix to her novel.  I found the descriptions of modern Venice and the surrounding areas beautiful and accurately detailed.  Although I personally don’t embrace the notion of reincarnation, I was drawn in and thoroughly enjoyed her well-written novel.

    The Memorist is a follow-up to Rose’s earlier novel, The Reincarnationist (which is, in fact her ninth published novel!).  Both books concern the fictional Phoenix Foundation and the character Malachai Samuels.  Although you don’t have to have first read The Reincarnationist in order to follow the story in The Memorist, The Reincarnationist is out in paperback now, so why not get both?! 

    Author M. J. Rose is a founding member of International Thriller Writers and founder of, a successful marketing company for authors.  You can read an excerpt from The Memorist and watch a video interview on the author’s website, and view discussion questions here.

    Many thanks to TLC Book Tours for giving me the opportunity to review The Memorist.  This type of psychological thriller is a change from my usual reading “style” and I appreciate being nudged to step outside my comfort zone and discover new reading pleasures!

    15 comments to Book Review: *The Memorist* by M. J. Rose

    Leave a Reply




    You can use these HTML tags

    <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>