His theories would change the world—and tear hers apart.
A page-turning novel inspired by the true-life love affair between Sigmund Freud and his sister-in-law.
It is fin-de-siècle Vienna and Minna Bernays, an overeducated lady’s companion with a sharp, wry wit, is abruptly fired, yet again, from her position. She finds herself out on the street and out of options. In 1895, the city may be aswirl with avant-garde artists and revolutionary ideas, yet a woman’s only hope for security is still marriage. But Minna is unwilling to settle. Out of desperation, she turns to her sister, Martha, for help.
Martha has her own problems—six young children and an absent, disinterested husband who happens to be 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, Minna is fascinated.
Minna is everything Martha is not—intellectually curious, engaging, and passionate. She and Freud embark on what is at first simply an intellectual courtship, yet something deeper is brewing beneath the surface, something Minna cannot escape.
In this sweeping tale of love, loyalty, and betrayal—between a husband and a wife, between sisters—fact and fiction seamlessly blend together, creating 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:
"Historical romance fans will speed through the pages and find fodder for book club discussions." —Library Journal, starred review
“If you liked Loving Frank and The Paris Wife, you’ll love Freud's Mistress!” —Katie Couric
“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-siècle Viennese, and—fascinatingly—the inner life of Dr. Sigmund Freud.” —Lisa See, New York Times–bestselling author
"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
“...[A]n intriguing, illuminating, and wholly engrossing account of the affair between Sigmund Freud and his headstrong, intelligent sister-in-law, Minna Bernays. Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman render fin-de-siècle 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’m absolutely crazy about [this] book … absolutely astonishing….” —Carolyn See, author of Making a Literary Life
“Brilliant….” —Karen Quinn, author of The Ivy Chronicles
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