Freud's MistressBook - 2013
His therories would change the world - and tear hers apart.
In the vibrant, extravagant world of turn-of-the-century Vienna, Minna Bernays is an overeducated lady's companion with a sharp, wry wit. Unwilling to settle and marry, she has spent years working for frivolous, difficult women, stuck in a social limbo, neither servant nor master. When Minna is abruptly fired, she finds herself out on the street and out of options. In 1895, the city is aswirl with avant-garde artists and writers and revolutionary ideas, but a single woman's only hope for security is still marriage. In desperation, she turns to her sister, Martha, for help.
But Martha has her own problems - six young children and an overworked disinterested husband who happens to be the brilliant but imperious Sigmund Freud.
At this time, Freud is a struggling professor, all but shunned by his peers and under attack for his theories, most of which center around sexual impulses. And while Martha is shocked and repulsed by her husband's 'pornographic' work, her sister is fascinated by his startling discoveries.
Minna is everything Martha is not - intellectually curious, engaging, and passionate. Minna and Freud embark on what is, at first, simply a meeting of the minds, but something deeper is brewing beneath the surface, an inevitable catastrophe that she cannot escape.
In this sweeping tale of love, loyalty, and betrayal, fact and fiction meld seamlessly together. After years of research, Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman have constructed a compelling portrait of an unforgettable woman and her struggle to reconcile her love for her sister with her obsessive desire for her sister's husband, the mythic father of psychoanalysis.
Praise for Freud's Mistress
'Intriguing, illuminating, and wholly engrossing . . . Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman render fin-de-siécle Vienna and the Freud household so vividly one can almost smell the coal fires and cigar smoke.' Jennifer Chiaverini author of Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker
'I found myself entirely absorbed by the era, the history, the characters, the drama of this book . . . . It's a fascinating story told in an utterly compelling fashion. While reading it, I felt as if I were a part of the world of these people - which is at once frightening and exhilarating. Freud's Mistress is a wonderful, engaging, and bittersweet novel. I absolutely loved it.' Garth Stein New York Times - bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain
'In Freud's Mistress , Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman succeed where so many historical novels flounder- they weave an unexpected tale of human desire and the bonds of love, based firmly in the rich and relevant source material they've scoured for details of the daily lives of fin-de-siécle Viennese and - fascinatingly - the inner life of Dr. Sigmund Freud.' Lisa See New York Times - bestselling author
'It is almost impossible to pass up a novel inspired by Sigmund Freud's rumored affair with his sister-in-law. This is a story that will appeal to the Pleasure Principle of many a reader.' Whitney Otto author of Eight Girls Taking Pictures and How to Make an American Quilt
'If you want to understand the obsessive pull of the human heart, you could spend a lifetime on the couch, or you could read this dazzling novel . . . . This is a book to savor.' Sheri Holman author of Witches on the Road Tonight and The Dress Lodger
'Book groups looking for a great selection? Look no more! This is Sigmund Freud like we've never known him. Insecure, passionate, even sexy. Who knew?' Esmerald Santiago New York Times - bestselling author of Conquistadora