Archeologists and Lost Empires
By Kim Fay
Ballantine Books, $26.00, 336 pages
Kim Fay’s The Map of Lost Memories immediately draws readers into a glamorous bygone era. The story begins with Irene Blum, a former museum curator who travels to Shanghai in 1925 at the bequest of her ailing, beloved mentor and father figure, Henry Simms. In search of a set of ten scrolls that purportedly contain the lost history of Cambodia’s Khmer civilization, Blum enlists the help of Simone Merlin, an unabashed tomb raider who has her own political and personal reasons for seeking the scrolls. As they travel from Shanghai to Saigon, Blum also clashes with a Khmer scholar and finds love with a man who has an unexpected connection to her past. Blum and her ragtag team of explorers head into the deep jungles of Cambodia, which author Fay describes with lush and heady intensity. Will they find the greatest archeological find of the 20th century, or will the French government and a fierce local tribe thwart them? ||Moving vividly through the gorgeous, magical landscapes of Indochina, The Map of Lost Memories is a thrilling historical novel that is written with eloquence and emotional resonance. Fans of historical fiction and exotic locales will find much to love here.
Reviewed By Laura Di Giovine