A Fascinating Narrative,
June 12, 2012
This review is from: Apart From Love (Paperback)Apart From Love
Uvi Poznansky is a Renaissance woman - poet, fiction writer, sculptress, architect, software engineer. Her first novel APART FROM LOVE reflects her many talents. It is full of unique visual imagery; some of the scenes read like exquisitely dressed stage sets. The cover art is also hers. Metaphors of art and music abound and support the novel's themes of passion, identity, and fractured family relationships.
Other reviewers have commented on the novel's plot; I won't reiterate those remarks. No "spoilers" from me! For this reader the most remarkable aspect of APART FROM LOVE is Poznansky's manipulation of the complicated narrative strategy in which three characters - Ben, his father Lenny, and Anita (Lenny's young second wife) - share the telling of the story. Ben and Anita are the primary narrators, and later we learn that Lenny is the "author" who secretly is piecing together their tape recorded narratives. He thinks of himself as a "keeper of secrets," yet it is the secrets of Ben and Anita that are revealed to him. Since the narratives are fractured and then, we suppose, "translated" by Lenny, the reader is left in a kind of suspense about what really happens. The lack of coherence created by the audiotapes - some of which have been written over multiple times - creates a fascinating, puzzle-like narrative in which the philosophical question of the nature of truth and reality is spun out for the reader. Each of the narrators has a distinctive voice; others have commented on the fact that Anita is uneducated and her language is unsophisticated and slightly crude. Personally, I found her refreshing - and perhaps the most honest of the three tellers of this ironic and painful "love" story.
The novel has some comic relief - again ironic - in the characters of Aunt Hadassa and her sisters who function like a Greek chorus, or Shakespearean "weird sisters," or the Fates, appearing generally at Anita's side at dramatic moments. The novel also has an appended chapter of "Editorial Notes" written by Lenny's lawyer, Mr. Bliss. These notes - an attempt to explain his editing of the scattered materials that make up the story - remind this reader of the attempts of Emily Bronte's narrator Lockwood to understand the passions of Heathcliff and Catherine in WUTHERING HEIGHTS. Psychologically, he is not up to the job, but even as we know this, we learn that in a way he stands for the reader, someone whose passions cannot hope to match those of the main actors in the drama. Uvi Poznansky has done this here as well. See for yourself; read APART FROM LOVE.