This is, ultimately, a powerful spin on a classic science fictional concept: to what extent do our memories make us who we are? Where does the line between identity and memories fall? ... Using precise and evocative language, Morrow turns a powerful concept into a sharp exploration of where memory, identity, and the body meet—and what the implications of that might be.
Mem, a world where it’s possible to extract a memory from a person and use it to create a living, breathing human copy. Most of these copies can act out only the memory from which they were born, but not Dolores Extract No. 1. This Mem, who calls herself Elsie, is the only Mem in history to become sentient ... The story unfolds as Elsie learns more about herself and the original Dolores. More important, Elsie holds up a mirror to her human counterparts, and the reader as well.
When Canadian professor Dr. Toutant discovers how to remove memories and contain them in identical humanoid vessels called Mems, the rich flock to Montreal for extractions. But society debutante Dolores’s first Mem exhibits unique traits. Instead of being trapped in her spawning memory, this Mem’s awareness grows and expands, while other Mems expire once the emotion of their spawning memories plays out. For this singular Mem, eighteen years have passed, and she’s still trying to figure out what makes her different before it’s too late ... Morrow delivers a new classic in her exploration of identity, memory, and human property, proving that, like experience itself, memory is slippery, unpredictable, and rarely what it seems. For those rich enough to capitalize on it, this new science yields unexpected results, but none is more unintended than Dolores Extract No. 1 herself.