Friday, September 6, 2013

Review: Freud's Mistress by Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman

Freud's Mistress
by Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman

Publisher: Putman
Pages: 357
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Minna Bernays is an overeducated woman with limited options. Fired yet again for speaking her mind, she finds herself out on the street and out of options. In 1895 Vienna, even though the city is aswirl with avant-garde artists and writers and revolutionary are still very few options for women besides marriage. And settling is not something Minna has ever done.

Out of desperation, Minna turns to her older sister, Martha, for help. But Martha has her own problems—six young children, a host of physical ailments, a household run with military precision, and an absent, overworked, disinterested husband who happens to be Sigmund Freud. Freud is a struggling professor, all but shunned by his peers and under attack for his theories, most of which center around sexual impulses, urges, and perversions. While Martha is shocked and repulsed by her husband’s "pornographic" work, Minna is fascinated.

Minna is everything Martha is not—intellectually curious, an avid reader, stunning. But while she and Freud embark on what is at first simply an intellectual courtship, something deeper is brewing beneath the surface, something Minna cannot escape.

Kritters Thoughts:  A piece of historical fiction that had me always guessing where the truth ended.  Sigmund Freud is not so happily married and his sister-in-law has lost her fiancee to disease, so after a few jobs as companions to other ladies, she is invited to move into the Freud home - drama ensues.

As I didn't know much about Freud in general, I found this book to be interesting because it made quite a few mentions of how Freud came up with his theories.  I took a few breaks in the book to read up on Freud and find out more about him and the science he created.  My favorite character was his wife, at first I found her to be homely, naive and just oblivious to all the things going on around her, but she definitely had some character growth and ended up being a stand out character.  I felt for Minna as she was trying to find her own life and I am not sure if she ever did.

I didn't love this book, but maybe its because I wasn't completely familiar with Freud and all of the things he is known for.  As a piece of straight historical fiction, there were only a few mentions of what was going on outside of Freud's world.

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


  1. Books like this walk a fine line. It's always iffy to fictionalize real people especially when the author gets so focused on one person that the rest of the world is forgotten.

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.


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