The Map of Lost Memories

The Map of Lost Memories

A Novel

Book - 2012
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Edgar Award Finalist for Best First Novel by an American Author
"Captivating . . . has qualities any reader would wish for: adventure, romance, history and a vividly described exotic setting."-- The Washington Post
In 1925 the international treasure-hunting scene is a man's world, and no one understands this better than Irene Blum, who is passed over for a coveted museum curatorship because she is a woman. Seeking to restore her reputation, she sets off from Seattle in search of a temple believed to house the lost history of Cambodia's ancient Khmer civilization. But her quest to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century soon becomes a quest for her family's secrets. Embracing the colorful and corrupt world of colonial Asia in the early 1900s, The Map of Lost Memories takes readers into a forgotten era where nothing is as it seems. As Irene travels through Shanghai's lawless back streets and Saigon's opium-filled lanes, she joins forces with a Communist temple robber and an intriguing nightclub owner with a complicated past. What they bring to light deep within the humidity-soaked Cambodian jungle does more than change history. It ultimately solves the mysteries of their own lives.
Praise for The Map of Lost Memories
"In The Map of Lost Memories, Kim Fay draws us into a universe as exotic, intense, and historically detailed as the ancient artifacts her unforgettable heroine seeks. It's a deliciously unexpected journey: Indiana Jones meets Somerset Maugham meets Marguerite Duras."--Jennifer Cody Epstein, author of The Painter from Shanghai
"A thrilling mix of adventure and personal discovery . . . [Kim] Fay crafts an intricate page-turner that will keep readers breathless and guessing."-- Publishers Weekly
"A ripping good tale . . . mysterious Asian locations . . . a driven young American heroine . . . an era no longer remembered but faded to romantic imagination . . . The Map of Lost Memories pulls the components together in a story that intrigues and rewards."-- Lincoln Journal Star
"Fay's extraordinary novel has everything great historical-adventure fiction should--a strikingly original setting, exhilarating plot twists, and a near-impossible quest."-- Booklist (starred review)
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, c2012.
ISBN: 9780345531346
Branch Call Number: FICTION FAY
Characteristics: viii, 326 p. : map ; 25 cm.


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May 17, 2016

6 out of 10. I wanted to like it more than I ended up liking it. But I didn't dislike it. It sort of felt like it could have been better than it actually was. I enjoy historical fiction - I get to learn a bit while being entertained, but I wanted to learn more about the Khmer civilization and Southeast Asia.

Jan 28, 2016

This is a kind of Indiana Jones action story for girls. It stars a confident, courageous young woman, Irene Blum, who pursues her goals single mindedly. But she’s not averse to learning as she takes her life’s most harrowing journey to the jungles of Cambodia.

She’s following a secret map given to her by her mentor and avid collector of Asian art, Henry Simms, who is dying of cancer. The map, given to Henry by Irene’s father, sets out the route to an undiscovered temple that houses 10 copper scrolls recording the history of the mysterious Khmer civilization.

Along the way Irene meets a strange host of characters, all with wildly different motives for accompanying her on this quest. The novel appears to be about how best to manipulate others by exploiting their dreams and expectations.

Oct 15, 2015

I would have liked more archaeology and less intrigue. Lots of drug use if that offends you don't bother. I would rate it PG-13

JCLLeslieN Dec 24, 2013

Great for book club discussions.

Dec 29, 2012

A story of an area so extremely remote that most of us have little knowledge of it, yet we can relate to it as a piece of a puzzle that is Southeast Asia. Well crafted story with extremely interesting characters. A very good read.

ehbooklover Dec 10, 2012

First off: a warning. This is more of a character study than an Indiana Jones-like adventure story. A lot of time was spent exploring the real motivations behind the actions of each treasure hunter. For me the real stars of the book were the exotic settings. The heat, the lights, the colours, and the smells of Shanghai, Saigon, and especially Cambodia were what kept me reading.

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