The Memory Painter

by Gwendolyn Womack
Release date: April 2015
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy, thriller, mystery
Tags: time travel

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. When Bryan awakes, he possesses extraordinary new skills... like the ability to speak obscure languages, or 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 genes that help the brain make memories — until she is confronted with an uncanny 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 back to ancient Egypt. As Bryan and Linz follow the trail, they slip through a kaleidoscope of lives — from imperial Russia, to feudal Japan, to Newfoundland and aboriginal Australia. A pattern emerges: a great love, a great enemy, and the prospect of a powerful, ancient truth buried deep in the past. But the deadly foe is watching 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.

“A sweeping, mesmerizing feat of absolute magic.... A complex and utterly riveting novel that leaves you with feelings of awe and wonder. A star is born!” — 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. Womack’s meditation on the beautiful mystery of memory is a riveting read from cover to cover, leaving us with the breathless realization that while grief may be eternal, so is love.” — CHARLIE LOVETT, NEW YORK TIMES–BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE BOOKMAN'S TALE AND FIRST IMPRESSIONS

updated 2020-07-26

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