by Gwendolyn WomackPublication 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 Lifeand 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, like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Inception, 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
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Lovers, friends, enemies- souls that are continuously playing out their roles in each successive life until they remember their purpose. In the present, Bryan Pierce wakes up from an extraordinary dream and feels the need to paint everything that occurred. He can recall everything about the life of the person he has dreamt about, including the ability to speak their language and perform any special skills that they had. Bryan isn’t just recalling a dream, he is remembering an entire past life, all of the memories have come flooding back at once. Most of all, he remembers the woman from his dream and when he finally meets her in his current life as Linz Jacobs after she recognizes one of his paintings from her dream, he sets in motion a chain of events thousands of years in the making.
The Memory Painter is incredibly unique with vivid writing that pulled me into the book much like people were pulled into Bryan’s paintings. I love the idea of past lives and The Memory Painter used the concept in a creative, magical and intense way. First of all, the past lives that Bryan and eventually Linz remember took me back in time to a wide range of periods and different historical figures. A mystery is teased out with each progressive life as Bryan and Linz are able to piece together their memories, an antagonist appears. One soul has been tearing them apart and killing them off in every lifetime, this aspect had me completely engaged. I thought I had everything figured out as to who the soul was and why they were acting how they were; however with a roller-coaster of twists and turns and finally remembering their first lives in Egypt, everything is turned around. I was continuously pulled into the story as each past life was revealed and Bryan and Linz currently tried to figure out their entwined pasts. Overall, this story is incredibly engaging and inventive, a perfect story to sink your teeth into and devour in one sitting.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
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.
For more information visit Gwendolyn’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.