1 review

The Memorist
by M. J. Rose

Published: 2010-04-01
Mass Market Paperback : 480 pages
19 members reading this now
6 clubs reading this now
4 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 1 members
As a child, Meer Logan was haunted by bizarre memories and faint strains of elusive music. Now a strange letter beckons her to Vienna, promising to unlock the mysteries of her past. With each step, she comes closer to remembering connections between a clandestine reincarnationist society, ...
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As a child, Meer Logan was haunted by bizarre memories and faint strains of elusive music. Now a strange letter beckons her to Vienna, promising to unlock the mysteries of her past. With each step, she comes closer to remembering connections between a clandestine reincarnationist society, Beethoven's lost flute and journalist David Yalom.

David knows loss firsthand--terrorism took his entire family. Now, beneath a concert hall in Vienna, he plots a violent wake-up call to illustrate the world's need for true security.

Join international bestselling author M. J. Rose in her unforgettable novel about a woman paralyzed by the past, a man robbed of his future and a secret centuries old.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.


Wassong bent down and inspected the slashes. “The rocks are sharp here. When you pulled it up out of the lake you must have ripped it.”
“No, I remember, I lifted it up. I didn't drag it, precisely for that reason,” David stared at the slashes. “Beside, these cuts are too clean to have been made on the ragged edges of these rocks.” Frantically, he scanned the cavern, his halogen beam flashing wild streaks of light on the rocky walls. “Someone did this. Someone is down here with us, Hans.” ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. What did it take for Meer to finally believe in reincarnation? Do you think that evidence would have convinced you?

2. Meer has a lingering memory that haunts her life. What makes a memory like that burn into your mind and last a lifetime? Is it something emotional? Or fearful. Or painful?

3. What does the book have to say about how religions form a canonical core of teachings by the exclusion of some beliefs? Is this true of most religions, cultures, or belief systems?

4. Why does the author use music as a focal point for triggering past life memories? Have you ever had an experience where music seemed to take you out of your current environment and into another place?

5. In what ways is David's response to the inability of governments to keep their citizens safe understandable? In what ways counter-productive? In what ways contemptible?

6. What lengths would you go to if your family came to the kind of harm that David's family suffered?

7. What else could The Dreads represent in Meer's mind? Do they align with her insecurities or her hopes?

8. Was Sebastian justified in what he did to try to save his son's soul? Was his ex-wife justified in keeping him away from their son?

9. How did Margaux's life in the past affect Meer's life in the present? Is karma fate, or can it be manipulated?

10. Do you think there could be a secret society dedicated to uncovering the mysteries of reincarnation? Why would such a society be secret--whose power would be upset if reincarnation were proven to actually exist? What is the appeal of reincarnation as a belief system?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

Once upon a time, my husband and I went to Vienna on a vacation and fell in love. Not with each other - we'd already done that - but with the city.

Growing up in Manhattan you don't bump in to history on every street corner - mostly you're bumping into other people or great shopping or eating experiences. In New York you have to go out of your way to find 18th century history bit it's still alive on every block in Vienna. There's so much of it you are literally breathing it in. Arts and sciences have flourished here for centuries and whatever your passion you can visit museums, monuments and memorials to art, music, architecture, literature philosophy and psychology.

And visit them we did including making visits to homes of many famous people who'd once lived there and since my husband is a musician the trip turned out to be what I now jokingly call our Beethoven pilgrimage.

There are several of the great composer's residences in the city proper and its environs and we visited everyone of them as well as churches, cafes and music halls he frequented. We walked the streets he walked following the routes he took and spent one day wandering the woods he wandered during the summers he spent in Baden, a spa town an hour out of the city.

But it was in the Heligenstadt house that the idea for my novel, The Memorist was born.

The house at Probusgasse 6 is in a neighborhood called Heligenstadt at the bottom of the Kahlemberg, which in Beethoven's time was outside the city and filled with vineyards that are still growing there. And it was here at the end of the summer of 1802 that the 31-year-old Beethoven wrote the heart-wrenching Testament to his two brothers documenting his anguish at the onset of his terrible deafness.

The upstairs of this small apartment is open to the public and we walked through the ordinary rooms where he lived. Wandering over to the window I looked down at a simple courtyard where there was a single tree growing.

I stared at the gnarled, twisted trunk and the rich healthy verdant green leaves and realized that Beethoven must have once stood there and looked down at that same tree. Suddenly the composer's ghost was standing there with me looking out the window.

Later I told my husband what I had been thinking and he said: “You're going to write about that aren't you?” Until that moment I hadn't thought about it but after he said it, I couldn't stop thinking about it.

At home I read several biographies about Beethoven and in one discovered the great composer had been fascinated with Eastern philosophy which includes a strong belief in reincarnation. His own notebooks contain quotes a number of passages from Bhagavad-Gita. As well as a quote from William Jones that was included in his Hymn to Narayena, We know this only, that we nothing know.

And with that piece of information the idea at the heart of my tenth novel revealed itself.

The Memorist is not about Ludwig Van Beethoven although he does play a small part in it. Rather it's a suspense novel about a woman on a search for her own ghosts but it was Beethoven's spirit that inspired the book and his everlasting gifts to us are at the heart of the mystery I attempeted to unravel.

“I do not believe in reincarnation, but I do believe in this writer's ability to make you want to believe. This is the page-turner-you-cannot-go-to-sleep-till-it's-finished thriller of the year.” Sheldon McArthur, NORTH BY NORTHWEST BOOKS

The Memorist has garnered starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and is on the November Indie Next list. Please visit MJRose.com and Reincarnationist.org to read an excerpt and find out more about M.J. Rose and her work.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
  "A very enjoyable read with great opportunity for discussion"by Gina M. (see profile) 02/20/09

  "I like the historic background"by Chary P. (see profile) 05/12/10

and several stories/ characters portrait at the same time. Although is a long novel the short chapters help make the action intrepid and more interested. I love the music involvement in the plot as well... (read more)

  "We enjoyed this book and had a lively discussion."by Carol P. (see profile) 02/20/09

  "Reincarnation"by Laura G. (see profile) 02/14/09

Our Book club won this book here on the Book Movement site. It was not the kind of book we would have gravitated towards and picked, but the club was surprised. Everyone loved this book! The storyline... (read more)

  "very enjoyable"by roseann s. (see profile) 02/13/09

Initially hard to stay focused, but continue on....good suspense, interesting characters and nice ending

  "Couldn't put it down..."by Robbie A. (see profile) 12/22/08

Full of mystery and suspense, there is lots to discuss in this book. Easy to meet the discussion deadline because you just keep reading "one more chapter" to see what happens next!

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