MEM is an intriguing exploration of an alternate 20th century by Bethany C. Morrow. In her debut novel, Morrow brings to life what would happen if humans were given the opportunity to remove their tragic memories.
The reader is drawn into the shiny art deco world of 1920s Montreal, Quebec. We’re introduced to Dolores Extract No 1 – however, Dolores Extract No 1 is much more than a MEM. She exemplifies the qualities of a self-sufficient human. She lives outside of the vault in an apartment along a quaint Rue in Montreal. She has changed her name to Elsie (if only amongst her few friends) and spends her days walking about Montreal, enjoying every aspect of city life Montreal.
Unfortunately for Elsie, she is directed back to the vault where she must live once again among other mems. Mems that are Mems. These others mems don’t possess the qualities of Elsie. Elsie can remember her life before she became a MEM. She remembers her life with her mother and father, her dream of a high society marriage, and game nights with her debutante friends. Elsie is more than a MEM, and her source is barely functioning at this point.
For this reason, Elsie must return to the vault. Her source Dolores wants the chance to reprint (another memory) on Elsie. Dolores has overused the memory extraction process and is now a shell of herself. Elsie must decide if she’ll remove one of her own memories or allow her source to control her future.
This book will not only leave you wondering what Elsie will do but also what you would do given the chance to extract your own memories. Would you do it? If so, which ones? And what would happen if your own MEM was more person than memory? This is a fantastic debut novel that grabbed me from the first page and never let go.
Disclaimer: The author received a complimentary copy of MEM for this review.
Brittany M. Thompson is a writer living in Cleveland, Oh, a city she surprisingly loves. She moonlights as an account manager Monday – Friday. You can find her tweeting about a little bit of everything @uptownbrittany