A historical fiction with a neuroscience element? Well, don't mind if I do! I will do my darndest to be as spoilery free as possible.
Bryan is a gifted painter, but most of his paintings have a dark streak to them. Linz is a research scientist. They don't seem to have much in common on the surface (besides both being good at chess) but it turns out that they have way more things (and lots of time) in common then they could have ever known.
I appreciate Linz's reaction to Bryan once she finds out where he gets his inspiration for his pictures, and some of the crazy sounding things that he says to her. It's pretty much "Uh, this all sounds insane. And my life is about work and puzzles and the symphony and all kinds of maybe boring and not insane sounding things and I don't like that you're upending it....but you're cute and I'm curious and a little scared now...so okay fine". It's a very normal sounding reaction to me!
My favorite parts of the book were the "flashbacks". They covered such a range of time periods and places and I learned something each time.
I understand that getting really terrible headaches that put you into a terrible state for awhile is inconveinent, and having to absorb a person's life and their memories and their sorrows is not ideal. BUT. If that meant that I could suddenly speak a bunch of languages, be a clock maker, an incredible painter, a research scientist and who knows what else, I think I would deal with the inconvenicne. I'd probably just lie and tell people I had violent narcolepsy or something...and to just put me somewhere safe and leave me alone when it happens...I don't know the details but I do know I'd like to paint like an Old Master and speak Greek without having to work very hard.
This book has it all: love story, history, mystery and danger! I give it a 3.5 out of 5!
The Memory Painter: A Novel of Love and Reincarnation
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
by Gwendolyn Womack
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.
“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
About the AuthorOriginally 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.
For more information visit Gwendolyn’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
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