Title: The Book of Lost Fragrances (Reincarnationist #4)
Author: M.J. Rose
Review: I am not a smoker and really find it to be a rather gross addiction in others, but if I am outside on a hot summer day and smell a cigarette in the air, I am almost immediately drawn back to my childhood and playing little league baseball. For me that smell experience is strongly tied to sitting in the dugout while various parents smoked in the bleachers. It never ceases to amaze me how easily my mind makes that transition; and more importantly it is the only thing that does trigger it. Not even playing baseball will do it, just that smell.
What if you could smell something so powerful, so tied to you that it made it possible to not only take you back to your childhood, but beyond. The overlaying theme of the book (and the series) is reincarnation, that we have spent multiple lives here on earth. If you could find the right blend of fragrances you could access those memories that you keep buried, you could truly understand who you are. As I said, fragrances can trigger specific memories; the only question is how many memories do we have?
The author is a little to ambitious in this book, telling a love story over time, plus a history book (of perfuming, Egypt, and Psychology), a suspense thriller, and Buddhism thrown in too. So the story could have been a little tighter or the narrative a lot longer (to do all the subplots justice) than it was. But even with all that the plot it was simply marvelous, making the me want to know more about everything. What do I think about reincarnation? What is going on with the whole underground tunnels in Paris? What is the history of perfume? How does Carl Jung interpret it? And so on. This book will tickle your interests and leave you looking for more.
Thanks T Steven for this review.
Quick Review: 4 stars out of 5.
Why I Read it: I love M.J. Rose’s plots
Where I Obtained the Book: Sent to me by the publisher for review
Synopsis: A sweeping and suspenseful tale of secrets, intrigue, and lovers separated by time, all connected through the mystical qualities of a perfume created in the days of Cleopatra—and lost for 2,000 years.
Jac L’Etoile has always been haunted by the past, her memories infused with the exotic scents that she grew up surrounded by as the heir to a storied French perfume company. In order to flee the pain of those remembrances—and of her mother’s suicide—she moves to America, leaving the company in the hands of her brother Robbie. But when Robbie hints at an earth-shattering discovery in the family archives and then suddenly goes missing—leaving a dead body in his wake—Jac is plunged into a world she thought she’d left behind.
Back in Paris to investigate her brother’s disappearance, Jac discovers a secret the House of L’Etoile has been hiding since 1799: a scent that unlocks the mysteries of reincarnation. The Book of Lost Fragrances fuses history, passion, and suspense, moving from Cleopatra’s Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet’s battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. Jac’s quest for the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past. The ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.
The FoxTV show Past Life, which premiered Feb 9th, was based on her Reincarnationist sereis.
Rose is also the co-author with with Doug Clegg of Buzz Your Book.
She is a founding member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. She runs the popular blog; Buzz, Balls & Hype.
Getting published has been an adventure for Rose who self-published Lip Service late in 1998 after several traditional publishers turned it down. Editors had loved it, but didn't know how to position it or market it since it didn't fit into any one genre.
Frustrated, but curious and convinced that there was a readership for her work, she set up a web site where readers could download her book for $9.95 and began to seriously market the novel on the Internet.
After selling over 2500 copies (in both electronic and trade paper format) Lip Service became the first e-book and the first self-published novel chosen by the LiteraryGuild/Doubleday Book Club as well as being the first e-book to go on to be published by a mainstream New York publishing house.
Rose has been profiled in Time magazine, Forbes, The New York Times, Business 2.0, Working Woman, Newsweek and New York Magazine.
Rose has appeared on The Today Show, Fox News, The Jim Lehrer NewsHour, and features on her have appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and abroad, including USAToday, Stern, L'Official, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.
Rose graduated from Syracuse University and spent the '80s in advertising. She was the Creative Director of Rosenfeld Sirowitz and Lawson and she has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
She lives in Connecticut with Doug Scofield, a composer, and their very spoiled dog, Winka
Books and other Creative Adventures
The TBR Pile
Peeking Between the Pages