Two, or is it three, worlds collide in this remarkable novel where nothing is quite what it seems. I have a pathological dislike of the piano and a personal distrust of mediums (both instilled by my mother) but strangely, this was enough to keep me interested in the central character who narrates the story, as she was forced to try and reconcile the her personal trauma as a concert pianist disabled by RSI with the bizarre world of hypnosis and clairvoyancy which claims to be able to ‘heal’ her. The central conceit of the novel, that past lives interests people – there’s big money in it as Carole’s flat mate discovers– is offered an interesting twist by the consideration of what happens if you discover that you are the past life?
Carole is forced to address this issue and reflects ‘If I’m somebody’s past, if I was delivered into a future life, I know the rules. It means this life is done. It’s all over.’However, in her case it is far from all over. Her life appears to be falling apart and her relationships are never what they seem. The brooding, doctor/therapist Gene who claims to be helping her deal with the physical and psychological issues arising from being a regression of Andreq, is by turns romantic lead and demonic villain. In Andreq we find a character from a future which keeps the reader in a state of dis-ease throughout the four episodes of the novel. There was an interesting juxtaposition and blending of reality and fantasy and it’s a clever way of getting us to empathise with the central character. I loved the insight into the ‘alien’ worlds of the pianist, medium. My interest in what exactly xeching might be went a long way to propel me through the narrative. And of course, the ending couldn’t be predicted!
Reviewed by Cally Phillips
My Memories of a Future Life is available in Kindle format
Find out more about Roz Morris