reincarnation -- fiction

Life after Life by Kate Atkinson

Cover to Life after Life

I love a book with an inventive narrative structure and, like Scheherazade, Kate Atkinson has 1,001 plots in her novel, Life after Life. Ursula Todd, born on a snowy night in 1910 to banker Hugh Todd and his aristocratic wife Sylvie dies and lives--over and over again.  But this is a novel not just about reincarnation but also about how a writer writes and makes choices. The chapters reveal the choices a writer--or a human being--makes and how it changes the path a life takes.

My Name is Memory

By Ann Brashares

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Daniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, he and Sophia have been drawn together, and he remembers it all. Daniel has the ability to recall past lives and recognize those he's previously known. And for all the times he and Sophia have been lovingly drawn together, they've also been torn fatally apart. (Catalog summary)
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My Name Is Memory

By Ann Brashares

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"Daniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Sophia (despite her changing name and form) have been drawn together-and he remembers it all. Daniel has "the memory", the ability to recall past lives and recognize souls of those he's previously known. It is a gift and a curse. For all the times that he and Sophia have been drawn together throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally, apart. A love always too short. Interwoven through Sophia and Daniel's unfolding present day relationship are glimpses of their expansive history together.

"From 552 Asia Minor to 1918 England and 1972 Virginia, the two souls share a long and sometimes torturous path of seeking each other time and time again. But just when young Sophia (now 'Lucy' in the present) finally begins to awaken to the secret of their shared past, to understand the true reason for the strength of their attraction, the mysterious force that has always torn them apart reappears. Ultimately, they must come to understand what stands in the way of their love if they are ever to spend a lifetime together."

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The Star Rover

By Jack London

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"...the story of San Quentin death-row inmate Darrell Standing, who escapes the horror of prison life—-and long stretches in a straitjacket—-by withdrawing into vivid dreams of past lives, including incarnations as a French nobleman and an Englishman in medieval Korea. Based on the life and imprisonment of Jack London’s friend Ed Morrell, this is one of the author’s most complex and original works."

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She: A History of Adventure

By H. Rider Haggard

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"A runaway bestseller on its publication in 1887, H. Rider Haggard’s She is a Victorian thrill ride of a novel, featuring a lost African kingdom ruled by a mysterious, implacable queen; ferocious wildlife and yawning abysses; and an eerie love story that spans two thousand years. She has bewitched readers from Freud and Jung to C. S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien... ."
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Vaporetto 13

By Robert Girardi

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" Wilson Squire is a currency trader sent by his company to Venice, Italy, to gauge the political climate and its potential effect on the lira. Haunted by recent events in his life and uneasy in the foreign environment, he finds it impossible to sleep, so he takes to walking the damp Venetian streets at midnight. In that labyrinth of alleyways and bridges, Wilson meets the ethereal and perplexing Caterina, a woman who seems to bear the sadness of centuries, a woman wrapped in the past but unwilling to share any of her own history with him. Every night he goes to find her among the thousands of stray cats that she feeds faithfully, and over the course of a few weeks falls desperately in love with her even though he knows nothing about her beyond the vague answers he receives to his constant questions. But something about her compels him despite reason. Even as he begins to learn that to uncover the secret she is keeping means losing her forever, he presses harder for a truth that is as elusive as it is inescapable. As the winter hangs heavy over the deserted city, Wilson finds the impossible answer that will change his life forever."
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Walter's Purple Heart

By Catherine Ryan Hyde

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Michael Steeb is an aimless twenty-one-year-old pot farmer living a day-to-day existence in an unfinished farmhouse in central California in the 1980s. He has no real plans or interests--until the day he connects with the memories of a life that seems to belong to someone else, that of a young American soldier killed in World War II.
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Waiting for Gertrude: A Graveyard Gothic

By Bill Richardson

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"In Paris's Pere-Lachaise cemetery lie the bones of many renowned departed. It is also home to a large number of stray cats. Now, what if by some strange twist of fate, the souls of the famous were reborn in the cats with their personalities intact? There's Maria Callas, a wilful and imperious diva, wailing late into the night. Earthy, bawdy chanteuse Edith Piaf is a foul-mouthed washerwoman.

"Oscar Wilde is hopelessly in love with Jim Morrison who sadly does not return his affections. Frederic Chopin is as melancholic and deeply contemplative as ever, and in honor of the tradition of leaving love letters at his tomb, he is now the cemetery's postmaster general. Last but not least, Marcel Proust is trying to solve the mystery behind some unusual thefts - someone has stolen Rossini's glass eye and Sarah Bernhardt's leg. Told in a series of amusing set pieces and intercepted letters, this is a delicious tale of intrigue, unrequited love, longstanding quarrels, character assassinations, petty spats, and sorcery that builds to a steady climax at the cats' annual Christmas pageant."

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The Mummy, or, Ramses the Damned

By Anne Rice

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"He was Ramses the Damned in ancient Egypt, but awoke in opulent Edwardian London as Dr. Ramsey, expert in Egyptology. He mixes with the aristocrats and samples their voluptuous lifestyle, but it is for his beloved, Cleopatra, that he longs, and will do anything to be with..."

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The Law of Love

By Laura Esquivel

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"The intensely anticipated new novel from the author of the international bestseller Like Water for Chocolate tells a cosmic love story, a Mexican Midsummer Night's Dream that stretches from the fall of Montezuma's Mexico to the 23rd century. A skillful and delightfully playful blend of fictional genres, The Law of Love features 48 pages of dramatic, color illustrations by Miguelanxo Prado, Spain's premier artist of the graphic novel, plus a compact disc with arias and Mexican."

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