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The Memory Painter    by Gwendolyn Womack order for
Memory Painter
by Gwendolyn Womack
Order:  USA  Can
Picador, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Imagine, if you will, that you are a painter who has an inexplicable gift that allows you to create work that not only sells exceptionally well but that also links you to past lives. Bryan Pierce, one of the two protagonists in this novel, is just such a character. His mysterious art is the portal that takes him back through history to ancient Egypt and the many lives he has already experienced.

Linz, a brilliant scientist, finds herself drawn to Bryan and art. She is also a woman linked to Bryan's past and their lives have been connected down through the centuries.

In what can be termed a romantic fantasy, this novel develops these two individuals' relationship, their past existences and how their lives are threatened by a third character who is bent on destroying them.

Since this is a convoluted plot with multiple facets set in different time periods, I won't try to detail the storyline beyond what I have already written. You'll visit Bryan's former lives where he is portrayed, among other people, as Alexander Pushkin, a Japanese samurai and violin maker Bartolomeo Giuseppe Antonio Guarneri.

This is a bit of a reach, but if you enjoy fantasy you won't mind this time traveler's many personae. Since there is a villain embedded in this tale as well, there are elements of a modern thriller that keeps the action moving.

I'm not much of a fantasy fan but I have to admit this novel held up rather well even though Linz produces buckets of tears along the way. It was only in the home stretch that the author stretched the credibility band so taut that it finally broke for me. At this point I was tempted to set the book aside, but I did reluctantly finish it.

You'll notice that there is no inner book jacket short description of what this novel is all about. Creating a short blurb about this book's contents would be a major challenge and it also might not attract a lot of readers.

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