The Map of Lost Memories by Kim Fay
A Novel

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Edgar Award Finalist for Best First Novel by an American Author
“Captivating . . . has qualities any reader would wish for: adventure, romance, history and a vividly described exotic setting.”—The Washington Post
In 1925 the international treasure-hunting scene is a man’s world, and no one understands this better than Irene Blum, who is passed over for a coveted museum curatorship because she is a woman. Seeking to restore her reputation, she sets off from Seattle in search of a temple believed to house the lost history of Cambodia’s ancient Khmer civilization. But her quest to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century soon becomes a quest for her family’s secrets. Embracing the colorful and corrupt world of colonial Asia in the early 1900s, The Map of Lost Memories takes readers into a forgotten era where nothing is as it seems. As Irene travels through Shanghai's lawless back streets and Saigon’s opium-filled lanes, she joins forces with a Communist temple robber and an intriguing nightclub owner with a complicated past. What they bring to light deep within the humidity-soaked Cambodian jungle does more than change history. It ultimately solves the mysteries of their own lives.
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Praise for The Map of Lost Memories
“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.”—Jennifer Cody Epstein, author of The Painter from Shanghai
“A thrilling mix of adventure and personal discovery . . . [Kim] Fay crafts an intricate page-turner that will keep readers breathless and guessing.”—Publishers Weekly
“A ripping good tale . . . mysterious Asian locations . . . a driven young American heroine . . . an era no longer remembered but faded to romantic imagination . . . The Map of Lost Memories pulls the components together in a story that intrigues and rewards.”—Lincoln Journal Star
“Fay’s extraordinary novel has everything great historical-adventure fiction should—a strikingly original setting, exhilarating plot twists, and a near-impossible quest.”—Booklist (starred review)

About Kim Fay

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Born in Seattle and raised throughout the Pacific Northwest, Kim Fay lived in Vietnam for four years and still travels to Southeast Asia frequently. A former bookseller, she is the author of Communion: A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam, winner of the World Gourmand Cookbook Awards' Best Asian Cuisine Book in the United States. She is also the creator/editor of a series of guidebooks on Southeast Asia. Fay now lives in Los Angeles. This is her first novel.
Published August 21, 2012 by Ballantine Books. 338 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Map of Lost Memories

Publishers Weekly

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At the behest of her manipulative mentor, Henry Simms, unappreciated 29-year-old Irene Blum quits her job at Seattle’s Brooke Museum and heads to Shanghai to persuade scholar-turned-revolutionary Simone Merlin to join her on a quest to locate 10 ancient Khmer scrolls, which discovery would allo...

Jul 02 2012 | Read Full Review of The Map of Lost Memories: A N...


The prose of The Map of Lost Memories is full of lush details, from the elegance of Shanghai to the musty damp of the Cambodian jungle—but more importantly, it’s packed with the kind of drama that many other novels of its kind lack.

Jul 11 2012 | Read Full Review of The Map of Lost Memories: A N...

Denver Post

Some Like It Hawk Donna Andrews (St. Martin's Press) Anyone looking to find hidden meanings in the subtext or for books that "transcend the genre" would be well advised to stay clear of "Some Like It Hawk," the 14th entry in this always dependable series featuring blacksmith Meg Langslow.

Sep 16 2012 | Read Full Review of The Map of Lost Memories: A N...

Historical Novel Society

Fay’s debut novel begins in Shanghai in 1925, the second part takes place in Saigon, and the third is set in Cambodia.

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Lincoln Journal Star

A driven young American heroine, full of pluck and gumption -- check!

Nov 12 2012 | Read Full Review of The Map of Lost Memories: A N...

Huntington News

Anne had arranged the party so Irene could meet Simone, and yet she now said, “It’s not too late to change your mind.”"'Why are you so against this?' Irene asked.“ 'Darling, I’m looking out for you, that’s all.

Sep 03 2012 | Read Full Review of The Map of Lost Memories: A N...

Portland Book Review

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.

Jan 14 2013 | Read Full Review of The Map of Lost Memories: A N...

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Oct 15 2012 | Read Full Review of The Map of Lost Memories: A N...

Red Online

Described as ‘perfect for fans of Kate Morton and The English Patient’, it’s also a face-off between two equally ambitious women: Irene, a young museum curator desperate to find a set of legendary scrolls, and Simone, the scholar who is supposed to be helping Irene on her quest – but soon has ide...

Aug 01 2012 | Read Full Review of The Map of Lost Memories: A N...

For Winter Nights

It may feature the search for lost copper scrolls deep in the jungle of Cambodia and it may be steeped in the mysteries of a lost history but all of this serves as the grand and evocative backdrop for the tale of two young women back in the 1920s who are searching for the clues to an even greater...

Sep 28 2012 | Read Full Review of The Map of Lost Memories: A N...

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