cover image The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

Claire North. Hachette/Redhook, $25 (416p) ISBN 978-0-316-399616

In this novel, Claire North, the pseudonym of an unnamed British author, focuses on the life of Harry August, a man who dies only to be reborn as the same person. The illegitimate son of a wealthy landowner, Harry's life is challenging not only because he is one of the kalachakra, a small group of people who have the ability to relive their lives, but also because he is a mnemonic, an individual who can remember all the details of their past lives. Harrys remarkable abilities make him the victim to all types of people throughout the novel, such as Franklin Phearson, the psychologist who tortures August until he tells him all about the future. North's fast-paced novel gets bogged down by long-winded explanations of time travel. Despite this minor flaw, the novel contains real heart. When Harry confronts his distant father or interacts with an old romance, we are reminded of true love's power and timelessness. (Apr.)