Apart from Love (英語) ペーパーバック – 2012/2/15
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Apart from Love contains volume I and II of the series Still Life with Memories, woven together around the same events in 1980, when Ben returns to meet his father, Lenny, and his new wife, Anita. It is then that he discovers a family secret. How will they find a path out of conflicts, out of isolation, from guilt to forgiveness? My Own Voice (volume I, "As told by Anita"): Ten years ago, when she was seventeen, Anita started an affair with Lenny, in spite of knowing that he was a married man. Now married to him and carrying his child, she finds herself condemned to compete with Natasha's shadow, the memory of her brilliance back in her prime, before she succumbed to early-onset Alzheimer's. Despite Anita's lack of education, her rough slang, and what happened to her in the past, Lenny tries to transform her. He wants her to become Natasha. Faced with his compelling wish, and the way he writes her as a character in his book, how can Anita find a voice of her own? And when his estranged son, Ben, comes back and lives in the same small apartment, can she keep the balance between the two men, whose desire for her is marred by guilt and blame? The White Piano (volume II, "As told by Ben"): Coming back to his childhood home after years of absence, Ben is unprepared for the secret, which is now revealed to him: his mother, Natasha, who used to be a brilliant pianist, is losing herself to early-onset Alzheimer's, which turns the way her mind works into a riddle. His father has remarried, and his new wife, Anita, looks remarkably similar to Natasha, only much younger. In this state of being isolated, being apart from love, how will Ben react when it is so tempting to resort to blame and guilt? "In our family, forgiveness is something you pray for, something you yearn to receive, but so seldom do you give it to others." Behind his father's back, Ben and Anita find themselves increasingly drawn to each other. They take turns using an old tape recorder to express their most intimate thoughts, not realizing at first that their voices are being captured by him. These tapes, with his eloquent speech and her slang, reveal the story from two opposite viewpoints. Do you like historical fiction about the 20th century, especially when it is tinged with romance and wrapped in a family saga? Then this series is for you.
The White Piano is woven into this book, which contains both Ben’s and Anita’s perspectives. If I could give Ben’s side seven stars, I would. Anita’s point of view fills in the missing pieces from The White Piano to present a more complete picture of what went on, but I must admit, I couldn’t wait to get through her chapters so I could return to Ben.
There are various issues I have with Anita’s narrative. One is explained at the end of the book, and so I must inform any reader who struggles with the mixture of poetic prose with bad grammar, you must be patient because there is a reason for it. Obviously, we know throughout the book she has bad grammar because she’s not educated. But if she’s not educated, she then wouldn’t tell her story in a poetic or stylistic manner either. However, as I stated, there is a reason for it. Just read until the end.
I also was not aware this book apparently takes place around 1980 until I started reading Book 3. I’d thought this was present day, making the overuse of the word “awful” in dialog confusing. The way it’s used sounds more like the 1950s or 1960s to me, but at least I now know this is not supposed to be present day.
The Anita narration was just a personal pet peeve, but overall this book is amazing. The plot- wow! It is so dramatic and emotional and contains levels of depth. There is some odd behavior, but this is life, and people can be off. In this family, everyone has their demons, and that is part of what makes the book so touching and so powerful.
The books leaves you with lots to think about, and if you try to skim through it quickly, you'll miss out. Enjoy the paint strokes, both large and small. This is an absolutely beautiful work or art.
A passionate tale told by two people: Ben, a twenty-seven year old student, and Anita, spunky, uneducated, the new wife of , Ben's aging father.
The two, Ben and Anita, feel a dangerous attraction to one another, and the story is off... taking you with it, into secret realms of desire.
Other secrets are soon revealed, about Lenny, Ben's father, and Ben's mother, stricken with early-onset Alzheimer's.
And there is a tape recorder... I won't tell you the part it plays in this journey from grief and guilt to forgiveness and love.
Uvi Poznansky is a thoughtful, talented writer. Her work brims with nuance. This is not a frivolous book, but it is a romance with real life, and a fine one.
Author Uvi Poznansky weaves a mesmerizing tale of family dysfunction with fascinating twists and turns that will effortlessly captivate the reader’s attention from the beginning. The author paints a spellbinding story about an innately dysfunctional family; Ben, Lenny (Ben’s father) and Lenny's new wife Anita. The characters are drawn with great credibility and conviction. It’s a well written novel that will keep you immersed from the first page to the last. Five stars all the way.
I first discovered Uvi Poznansky on twitter. As a blogger, she quickly offered help and cross promotions. She is not selfish and helps all authors. The first book I read of hers was Rise to Power. Since then I can say I am a huge fan. I adore her writing style. The White Piano and was wonderful. I had to read the series.
For this book, it gives both POV Perspectives of Ben & Anita The White Piano is woven into this book, which contains both Ben’s and Anita’s perspectives. Personally both sides were equally enjoyable for me. VERY detailed writing with descriptive passages.
Overall very emotional read