Belinda’s Book Nook’s Great Reads in 2018: Mem by Bethany C. Morrow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title: MEM
Author: Bethany C. Morrow
Copyright: May 22, 2018
Genre: fiction
Format: hardcover
Pages: 184

Discovering the book:

I heard about this book on a podcast sometime in May and I decided to buy it for myself as one of my books for my birthday back in June. I love that it was science fiction speculative fiction written by a black author and this was her debut novel. I made a conscious effort last year to seek out and read a number of debut books by black authors. I will have to go back and see how many I read last year.

Expectations:

So I went into the book with expectations built up from what I heard on the podcast description of the book. I’m always fascinated with the way people come up with concepts for books and then are able to tell a story and bring you someplace that you never thought about. This is especially true and the beauties of many genres but it is especially true in science-fiction and fantasy.

Experience:

One thing I noticed was that I was drawn into the story immediately.   I was fascinated with the idea of being able to get rid of unwanted memories. So my curious was peak from the start to learn what and how the author would handle the subject. I found the characters interesting and easily connected to Delores. I appreciated the subtlety that the author used to inform readers that certain characters in the book were people color. It’s not something that I normally experience in my daily reading and it was refreshing.

Premise of the story:

Set in the early 1920s in Montreal Canada when people that had the means could go to this facility and have bad memories or certain memories extracted from them. Typically the memories were bad memories and they would be put inside of a created “being”. This being would be referred to as a ‘Mem’ and would look like that person at that particular time they would have experienced the memory and would never age. The Mem would be that memory they lived and they would relive that memory over and over especially when they went to sleep. The reason that most people go to this facility was that they wanted to get rid of bad memories. The person going to the facility was called the Source. The Source then had all rights to the Mem but the Mem would reside at the facility.  What they noticed was that the Mem would not live very long lives they would eventually expire and they also noticed that the Source when they had these memories extracted that and that memory would then be gone from their memory but they would also lose more of them selves as well. So there was a price to pay to remove bad memories. The main character of the story was a Mem named Dolores after her source Dolores and she exhibited characteristics that no other Mem had before she experienced feelings and individual thoughts.

Final Thoughts:

There’s so much complexity to the various issues that I’m surprised it was fit in such a small book. A great read and I especially enjoyed at the very end the authors note where the author actually states that the character was black and that she chose not to include even though racism exist then and it exists now in Canada. But that she wanted to have the character and exist without having to deal with racism but as a responsible author, she wanted to make sure that she say did note that racism is still present. Then she recommended different resources to explore issues of race and race relations in Canada. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and give it 5 butterflies. This book was really great and I’m just so impressed with the concepts and the issues that it brought to the forefront for me. Read it!

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