Suspense and secrets are woven together in this engrossing fiction debut by Kim Fay. The Map of Lost Memories takes readers on a daring expedition to a remote land, where the search for an elusive treasure becomes a journey into the darkest recesses of the mind and heart.
In 1925, the international treasure-hunting scene is a man’s world, and no woman knows this better than Irene Blum, who is passed over for the coveted curator position at Seattle’s renowned Brooke Museum. But she is not ready to accept defeat. Skilled at acquiring priceless, often illicitly trafficked artifacts, Irene is given a rare map believed to lead to a set of copper scrolls that chronicle the lost history of Cambodia’s ancient Khmer civilization. Such a find would not only restore her reputation, it would be the greatest archaeological discovery of the century.
As Irene travels from Seattle to Shanghai to the Cambodian jungles, she will encounter several equally determined companions, including a communist temple robber and a dashing nightclub owner with a complicated past. As she and her fellow adventurers sweep across borders and make startling discoveries, their quest becomes increasingly dangerous. Everyone who comes to this part of the world “has something to hide,” Irene is told - and she learns just how true this is. What she and her accomplices bring to light will do more than change history. It will ultimately solve the mysteries of their own lives.
©2012 Kim Fay (P)2012 Random House Audio
"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; all culminating in a glorious traipse through a forgotten Asian world. This novel will stay with me for a long, long time." (Jennifer Cody Epstein, author of The Painter from Shanghai)
"Kim Fay's engaging debut novel, The Map of Lost Memories, not only weaves together a smart, compelling story of a quest for scrolls believed to contain the lost history of Cambodia's ancient Khmer Empire, but also gives us a glimpse into 1920s China and Indochina during the time of transition from colonialism to the beginnings of communism. With deftness and clarity, Fay brings her world to life and gives us a captivating read." (Gail Tsukiyama, author of A Hundred Flowers)
"In The Map of Lost Memories, Fay updates the archaeological adventure tale with an ambitious heroine and a cast of morally ambiguous characters in a race to discover an ancient temple in the jungles of colonial Cambodia. Fay's assured, absorbing prose will compel readers with its lush detail, multiple plot twists and keen insight into this politically combustible period of history." (Aimee Phan, author of The Reeducation of Cherry Truong)
Couldn't make myself care about the characters or even finish the book. The main characters were all self-absorbed and flawed in uninteresting or distasteful ways. Too bad, because the plot would have been interesting, but the characters couldn't handle the heavy lifting of moving the story along.
Young female who grew up in a museum (without credentials) is kicked to the curb when she hopes to step into an important role in the organization. Stung by the rebuff, she decides to leave the museum to prove herself to the establishment. She flounces off on an expedition to locate certain undiscovered antiquities in Asia. She has insider information on the location, but requires the help of a mysterious drug-addled woman who is reluctant to participate in the venture because of an evil, controlling husband. Unfortunately, I didn't get much farther into the book after the two clueless women bumble into a messy solution to the husband's roadblock to the expedition. Just couldn't make myself care enough for the characters to keep slogging through the story.
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