For, March 2004, 25.95, 336 pp
In 2300 B.C. Sumeria, Shula is a slave girl in a wealthy merchant's house until the goddess Inanna chooses her to serve in her temple. As a naidato she is to keep herself chaste and obey the wishes of the goddess. When she
finds out she is pregnant from her owner's son, he refuses to believe it is his child and leaves her to the mercy of the temple guards who punishes her to the point of death. She survives, but loses the child and has no option but to follow the road Inanna travels.
In the present, after a thoroughly unpleasant time in middle school and high school; Wendy Cherento finds true love with Ray Mackie who leaves home because he hates his abusive father. Wendy is working on a doctorate proposal concerning the existence of matriarchal societies in Ancient Sumeria while Ray is supporting both by scamming credit card companies. When one of Ray's partner's is busted, the gang disperses and he has to leave town. Wendy refuses to leave her studies and her feminist friends but the time will come when the lives of Roy, Wendy and Shula converge.
Wendy and Shula are are one person. She is in a vr capsule experiencing what Shula feels but does not remember that she is Wendy. She is trying to prove that feminism was alive and well in Sumeria.
INVENTING MEMORY is original and compelling, a tale that leaves readers wondering how the two protagonists living millennia apart are linked. Anne Harris writes a feminist manifesto using fantasy and science fiction elements to make her point. Readers maybe turned off by the characters who believe men are the oppressors who want to keep women in their place. Shula, Ray and Wendy are characters and archetypes, a combination that works as long as one believes in feminism and its rule in society both past and present.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner