Feb 5, 2009

The Memorist - Review

The Memorist
by M. J. Rose
Mira, 2008

This is a story about a spiritual journey as much as it is a mystery. Meer has suffered from disturbing, frightening visions since she was a child. These are like waking dreams where she knows she must flee for her life, she hears a haunting melody, and then she sees a centuries old box which holds a dangerous secret inside. Her father, Jerome, and his close friend Malachi have spent years studying the Jewish mysticism of the Kabbalah, and it is their belief that Meer's visions are rooted in previous incarnations. As a child psychologist Malachi has helped many children who he believed had problems stemming from former lives, but he was never able to help Meer escape the "dreads" as she calls them. Even now as an adult they plague her. Throughout her life Meer often drew pictures of the box. One day she receives a letter from her father (now residing in Vienna) which included a photo of an 18th century gaiming box from an auction catalog. The same box she had drawn so many times before. She joins her , and it is then that her life begins to spin out of control.

At the same time that Meer troubles worsen a man named David Yolem plans an act of destruction he knows will command the world's attention. His rage and hurt are painfully raw. A few months earlier a bomb, deliberately set as a message to him, killed his entire family. He plans to set off an explosion deep within the old catacombs of Vienna on the day of a large international gathering.

At the center of the mystery that compels Meer and her father to obtain the box is a letter written by Beethoven concerning an ancient ivory flute, intricately carved, and believed by certain individuals to be a memory tool. When played it would allow listeners to recall their previous lives. Meer has never been a believer in reincarnation, but there has been so many strange and coincidental happenings that she begins to have doubts.

There are many important characters not the least of which is Vienna, this enchantingly beautiful city with a corrupted Nazi past. Rose spins a fascinating story with so many twists and turns and many suspenseful moments. In the end all the pieces of the puzzle fit together, but not so neatly that you can't help wondering what will happen next in people's lives.

In 2007 Rose published The Reincarnationist to much acclaim. I did not have a chance to read it. If it's even half as good as The Memorist I'll love every world. At the end of the book Rose provides a brief bibliography of books for those wishing to know more about reincarnation. These are real books by real people and most can be found on Amazon, other online stores, and probably in your local library.

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