Friday, 10 January 2014

My Memories of a Future Life by Roz Morris

Reviewer: Catriona Troth, author of Ghost Town

What We Thought: On the surface, this is a tale of a classical pianist suffering from RSI who, when all conventional medicine fails, resorts to hypnotism in order to be able to play once more.

But hypnotism takes Carol not into a past life, but into a far distant future, when a human elite lives a pampered life in undersea domes, fuelled by power stations left on a barren surface.

Is this Carol’s subconscious finding a way to cope, or is she really channelling some spirit from the future? Everyone from her best friend through to the local spiritualists seem to have an opinion.

My Memories of a Future Life begins with some of the most sumptuous and specific descriptions of what it is like to draw music from a piano that I have ever read. As someone who has listened to classical music all my life but never played an instrument, it allowed me to slip into Carol’s shoes and empathise with what she’s lost.

The future world is lightly but deftly drawn, original and intriguing. And Carol’s problems are given no facile answers. In the end, she must dig deep within herself to find the origins of her pain.

A deeply satisfying book written by someone who understands the music of words as well as she does the music of the piano.

You’ll Enjoy This If You Like: Scarlett Thomas, Margaret Atwood’s Madaddam Trilogy,

Avoid If You Don’t Like: A blend of realism and surrealism blended; highly literate prose

Ideal Accompaniment: Chilled champagne in a tall glass; Chopin's Sonata in B Minor, Grieg's piano concerto in A minor.

Genre: Literary Fiction with a dash of Sci-Fi.

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