"The family dynamic has been written about since the beginning of time: the Biblical story of Joseph, Macbeth, and in the 1930s, William Faulkner’s The Sound and The Fury. Like Faulkner, Ms. Poznansky uses more than one person to tell the story of “Apart From Love.” Faulkner used four. Ms. Poznansky uses two: Ben and Anita. Their voices are orchestrated close to perfection in a loving way.
Each chapter is told by one or the other, explaining their understanding of the events which leads to conflict within the family circle: Ben’s father and Anita’s twice her age husband, Lenny; Lenny’s first wife and Ben’s mother, Natasha; Anita’s mom; and three aunts round out the family Kaminsky.
Interwoven into the main character’s discourses are the normal family emotions: greed, sex, hatred, control, loneliness, procreation, legacy, and everything you may think of “Apart From Love.” No one ever uses the love word as in the phrase “I love you.”
Anita and Ben are young and are thinking about each other. Lenny is old and is thinking about Natasha and what could have been had she not gone into a vegetable state. Lenny is recording his fictional novel as to what he believes is happening between his son and second wife. The novel turns out to be his memoir.
There are family mishaps, joyous times, secrets, and torments. Each narrator fullfills their duty by translating their opinion of the events based on their background: Ben, a worldly educated one and Anita with her street smarts’ schooling. They each speak a different language, although are of the same generation. The reader will enjoy their terminologies.
Ms. Poznansky pulls off a well written story of dependency. Every one of the characters are dependent on one another and are looking for support right up to the end of this skillfully developed novel. A very good read if you’re looking for something Apart From Love.”
In addition, here are his questions, my answers in the interview he posted here.