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4.0 out of 5 starsSorrowful saga
Reviewed in the United States on January 9, 2018
This novel, although well crafted, is morose from the start. Nobody's truly happy; nobody's secure in their position within their family. Lenny's first wife, who he deeply loved and admired for her talent as a pianist, has familial Alzheimers and has been placed in a home. Lenny has tried to replace her with a younger, look-alike lady who is having his baby. But his 27 year-old son, Ben, has come home and Ben's youth is a threat despite the fact that he is a depressive and a person with not much character. Anita does her best to make the older man happy, but with little success as he shuts himself out from his family world, writing all his son's spoken thoughts into a novel. Fear of the hereditary aspect of Alzheimers leads him into this obsession. All around, a very dark novel, dealing well with the misery of being locked into a place nobody wants to be. Well executed, but I can't pretend that I totally enjoyed the story, otherwise, I would have given it a 5 - too much melodrama for my taste and obliquely presented in parts.
This book is truly a work of art. I first discovered Uvi Poznansky when I happened upon The White Piano and was intrigued. After reading it, I knew I had to read the entire series.
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.
5.0 out of 5 starsA well-crafted and captivating story
Reviewed in the United States on November 27, 2017
Whatever flaws we might identify or frustrations we might feel are trivial in comparison to a reader’s pure joy in losing himself/herself in a narrative. When all the elements come together: an intriguing plot, thoughtful, profound themes, complex, troubling, characters, and language that will amaze for its clarity, directness and confidence; we gratefully set all analysis aside and give ourselves up to the sheer magic of a great book. And for me, Apart From Love, is such a book.
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.
Reviewed in the United States on September 20, 2018
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.
"Say anything, apart from love." That's the mantra of this book, the heart of it. I'm not commonly a romance reader, but I am a literary reader, and Uvi Poznansky's deft prose and fresh eye showed me corners of the human soul that few novels convey.
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.
`Apart from Love' is quite unlike any story I've ever read, and I enjoyed every moment of it. The writing is full of lyricism and imagery, melancholy and hope, whilst the story seldom wanders very far from one cramped apartment in Santa Monica. It is not a book that will take you on a journey through a place or an era, but rather through the minds of three people. Anita, Ben and Lenny are undoubtedly connected through kin and marriage, yet are so sadly disconnected by their individual histories, secrets, guilt and remorse. They find an obscure way with which to communicate and reach out to each other, recording their voices and thoughts on an old tape recorder. The fact that they share this tiny living space, yet are so far from understanding each other is beautifully delivered through Poznansky's prose and style. Anita is Lenny's second wife, articulate and eloquent with her desires and despairs despite her dreadful English, brash ways and lack of education. Ben, only a year older than Anita, is Lenny's son. He is recently returned after years estranged from his broken family. Natasha, Ben's mother and Lenny's first wife, is the white elephant in the room, her absence enormous and tangible. `Apart from Love' is a clever, in-depth, unadulterated exploration of the thoughts of these individuals as they flow unheeded through their minds, allowing the reader to float, swim, wade, and splutter along with these oft times drowning characters. The story wraps up in a wonderful way, pulling the threads together to make sense of the way the book has been structured.
I noticed that Poznansky is also the painter of the stunning cover design, her gift with word images spilling into visual art, proving herself a very talented artist.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 8, 2013
I was gifted this book by the author in exchange for my honest review.
At first I found the start hard going. It certainly isn't one of those books you can pick up and immediantly get into. That doesn't mean it didn't take my interest, it did. That is why I carried on with it.
As the story unfolded there was a lovely love affair going well on.
I think the one thing I take from this book is that dreaded disease Alzheimer's. My husbands Father is afflicted with this and I could relate to lots in this book on so many levels.
The blurb doesn't do the book justice, its a superbly written piece of art.
Would I recommend it? Oh yes.
The cover needs replacing though as it doesn't do the story justice in MHO
A fascinating tapestry of the contradictions of being human and lost to love woven within a tight plot framework. The plot is simple, Ben returns to his childhood home and is attracted to his father's young and pregnant wife. But through layers of imagery and raw honesty the complex themes of infidelity, the Oedipus Complex, mortality and Alzheimer's are addressed in an effective and challenging way.
Although ‘Apart from Love’ is a tale about love it is no romance-novel. More a chronicle of desire. An introspective read that covers, from the view-point of multiple characters some of life’s issues.
Now I won’t go into plot details - They are in the book-blurb. I’m also not going to attempt to bosh out a review in a wordy intellectual way either. I don’t consider myself ‘well-read’ enough. Besides I prefer to speak from an emotional viewpoint. So here goes.
I first read samples of Uvi Poznansky’s work in way of her self-promoted advertisements posted on social media. Initially I was attracted by the richness of her book-cover artwork and then drawn in by the caress of her verse. I found her words possessed a special kind of tenderness. Something I felt my own writing lacked.
I decided I could use a lesson in regard to her rhythmic delivery of contemplative prose. The way she captures subtle nuances in glimpses and reflections. Or teases out emotions with a pause in her dialogue. She fashions both fleshly desire and clean naughtiness so adeptly.
It wasn’t long before I was reading and liking every post.
I particularly like this line from the book...
The waves roll in, threatening to swallow us whole. With a roar in their widening mouth, they are leaping ahead, then lapping the sand angrily, foam on their lip.
‘Apart from Love’ is a leisurely read that allows you to enjoy the moment of actually reading. This is what I get from Uvi Poznansky, what I admire mostly in her work.
When women are romantically depicted, enjoying a piece of chocolate whilst engrossed in a novel. This is exactly the type of stuff they are reading.