The Memory Painter

Written by Gwendolyn Womack
Review by Kristina Blank Makansi

Bryan Pierce, a world-famous artist, hides a secret: his talents – from painting to chess to languages – all come from his dreams, dreams he can’t control. Or are they his memories? When Linz Jacobs, a brilliant neuroscientist, comes across one of his paintings at her friends’ gallery, she is stunned. The painting depicts the same dream she’s had since she was a child – the dream of a woman being burned at the stake.

After Linz and Bryan meet, Bryan dreams about an explosion at the lab of a group of scientists on the verge of curing Alzheimer’s and is convinced both he and Linz are among those who were murdered. But why were they killed, and how far back are their lives intertwined? And is the killer still out there, determined to kill them all over again?

A fast-paced thriller with a love story that spans continents and stretches back 10,000 years, The Memory Painter is a little sci-fi, a little historical fiction, a little fantasy, and a lot of romance with a murder mystery thrown in for good measure. As an intriguing and ambitious debut novel, it takes on questions of past memories and future destinies, the endurance of love and the cost of grief and delivers a roller coaster ride along the way.