Published by Picador on April 28th 2015
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Two lovers who have traveled across time. A team of scientists at the cutting edge of memory research. A miracle drug that unlocks an ancient mystery.Bryan Pierce is an internationally famous artist whose paintings have dazzled the world. But there's a secret to his success: Every canvas is inspired by an unusually vivid dream. When Bryan awakes, he possesses extraordinary new skills...like the ability to speak obscure languages and an inexplicable genius for chess. All his life, he has wondered if his dreams are recollections, if he is re-experiencing other people's lives.Linz Jacobs is a brilliant neurogeneticist, absorbed in decoding the genes that help the brain make memories, until she is confronted with an exact rendering of a recurring nightmare at one of Bryan's shows. She tracks down the elusive artist, and 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 Bryan becomes obsessed with the mysterious circumstances surrounding the scientists' deaths, his dreams begin to reveal what happened at the lab, as well as a deeper mystery that may lead all the way to ancient Egypt. Together, 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.A taut thriller and a timeless love story spanning six continents and 10,000 years of history, The Memory Painter by Gwendolyn Womack is a riveting debut novel unlike any you've ever read.
A group of scientists back in the 1980’s, have found a way to get back memories lost by Alzheimer’s patients but decide to test the drug themselves and find they are all experiencing a collective memory that takes them through ten thousand years of history. That is only part of the story. Linz Jacobs (no relation), is also working on memory but her focus is genes. Her whole life she has a reoccurring dream and when she attend’s an art exhibit at her friend’s gallery, she sees a painting that brings to life her recurrent dream.
Just by chance, the artist is there and Bryan Pierce feels the need to talk to Linz, he can’t explain why. When Linz explains that his painting captures her vivid memories, Brian is inspired by his own dreams and now once he meets Linz, he starts to have dreams about the scientists back from the 1980’s. As Linz and Bryan become closer they discover something about their relationship that has continued through out time.
I really enjoyed this time traveler romance mixed with a bit of science fiction. The situations that this couple find are completely believable and make sense within the story. If I go into too much detail, it would probably ruin the story, but this was a fascinating and lovely read.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Originally from Houston, Texas, Gwendolyn Womack began writing theater plays in college while freezing in the tundra at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. During that time she lived in St. Petersburg, Russia on an independent study working with theater companies. She went on to receive an MFA from California Institute of the Arts in Directing theater and film where she was encouraged to write her own material. After graduating she focused on writing feature screenplays and was a semi-finalist in the Academy’s Nicholl Fellowship. In 2009 she moved to Japan and began to write THE MEMORY PAINTER the following year. Currently she resides in Southern California 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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