The family saga, Apart From Love by Uvi Poznansky opens on a scene in the family home. The reader finds Ben, son of Lenny, the family patriarch, in a strange, tense situation. It is a tense situation because Ben has just been greeted by Anita, his father’s bride. He finds Anita to be attractive if uneducated. She is a year younger than Ben who is 27.
As chapters progress through the saga, each is delivered as a first person account of the events taking place between Ben, Lenny and Anita. Readers of literary fiction with a biographical tone will find Apart from Love compelling. Uvi Poznansky paints vivid portraits of these primary characters and others with whom they interact.
We learn early on that Natasha, Ben’s mother separated from Lenny. An element of tragedy is introduced when we learn from Lenny that Natasha has early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Ben had been led to believe his mother had been traveling on a world concert tour. He is shattered to learn Natasha has been in a nursing home.
To me, Anita becomes the strongest character in the story. True, she doesn’t have much education and she was abused at home. That said, we learn through her first person narratives that Anita has good common sense, is attractive and has strong character, especially when it comes to protecting her unborn child. It seems she spends much of her time at home, alone while Lenny is ‘away’ writing and following his own self-interests. Maybe that is part of the attraction that begins to draw Ben and Anita together. One of the early hints comes as we see Ben and Anita performing an enthusiastic duet on the piano. By the end of the performance, both characters seem non-plused.
Additional tension develops when Ben discovers Lenny has plagiarized recorded memos from a tape recorder. This machine will eventually prove to provide a growing body of information which is revealed at the end of the book.
After Lenny and Natasha’s separation, it seems Ben left home for an extended period of time. In the following excerpt you will get a glimpse of Uvi Poznansky’s gift of description and a feel for the lyrical prose she is capable of writing.
Excerpt – A special moment between Ben & his father at Venice Beach, Apart From Love by UviPoznansky
“My father just smiles, pouring me one cup of milk after another. “Well, now,” he says, once I have gulped down the last one. “Lets get some fresh air.” And so, an hour or so later, the old man and I are down at Venice Beach, which is nearly deserted, barely a soul around. There in front of us, closing in on an unclear horizon, is an autumn sun, reddening every ripple out there in the ocean, every little wrinkle here on the shore, and casting endless shadows, shadows made of vapor and dust, which seem to be flowing along, right over the surface. We stand side by side. We smell the salt …”
I highly recommend, Apart From Love. When you read the book, I encourage you to savor each chapter, much like reading an important letter from a friend or family member. As you read each chapter you’ll see a cohesive structure emerge. By the end you’ll find a story where the whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts. Read it and enjoy!
Amazon purchase link here
About the author, Uvi Poznansky
Uvi Poznansky is a California-based author, poet and artist.
She earned her B. A. in Architecture and Town Planning from the Technion in Haifa, Israel. During her studies and in the years immediately following her graduation, she practiced with an innovative Architectural firm, taking a major part in the large-scale project, ‘Home for the Soldier’; a controversial design that sparked fierce public debate.
At the age of 25 Uvi moved to Troy, N.Y. with her husband and two children. Before long, she received a Fellowship grant and a Teaching Assistantship from the Architecture department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she guided teams in a variety of design projects; and where she earned her M.A. in Architecture. Then, taking a sharp turn in her education, she earned her M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Michigan.
During the years she spent in advancing her career–first as an architect, and later as a software engineer, software team leader, software manager and a software consultant (with an emphasis on user interface for medical instruments devices)–she wrote and painted constantly, and exhibited in Israel and California. In addition, she taught art appreciation classes. Her versatile body of work can be seen online at uviart.com. It includes bronze and ceramic sculptures, oil and watercolor paintings, charcoal, pen and pencil drawings, and mixed media.
Uvi published two children books, Jess and Wiggle and Now I Am Paper. For each one of these books, she created an animation video (see Author Videos at the bottom of this page.)
She won great acclaim for her novel, Apart From Love, published February 2012 and for her poetry book, Home (in tribute to her father, the poet and writer Zeev Kachel) published September 2012.
27 responses to “Book Review — Apart From Love”
Thank you so much Richard for this beautiful review! And I love it that you posted an excerpt, too–it is a special moment between father and son…
You’re welcome, and thank you Uvi.
I agree about it being a special moment and for two reasons. I found the bonding of father and son touching but the lyrical prose you used to describe the beach scene felt cinematic.
Good review, will check it out…
Uvi is not only an author and poet. As an artist, she sketches, paints in oil and watercolor. She is also a sculpture. I think you would enjoy her work assuming you aren’t aware of it already.
Thanks again for your comment 😀
Thank you so much Doris for reading this beautiful review!
Rich… thank you for this entertaining and enlightening review of the family saga, ‘Apart From Love’ by Uvi Poznansky. I was impressed by your highlights of the story that peaked my curiosity about this interesting family. Your notations of first person dialogue sent a message that attracted my attention, too. And I enjoyed your inclusion of the short excerpt. as well.
Only today, I was introduced to Uvi’s talents through an article she wrote. The article appears on her blog where she shared her expertise about her art and a critique about adding colors to covers of books vs. ebooks. I was delighted to Tweet her story.
Charlotte, thanks for commenting. Yes, I found Uvi’s approach to be a creative one. While I found one character most appealing, I can honestly say, Uvi used a framework that let’s readers feel they know the characters.
Uvi shares examples of her talent on the following page:http://www.uviart.com/. Glad you shared her article.
Thank you so much Charlotte. Indeed I was impressed just like you were, not only by Richard’s eloquence in writing this review, but by his care for both the book and for the reader, giving her the best insight into the story.
Lovely review for what’s clearly a compelling story.
Thank you, Elise!
I feel like I really know the characters.
Glad you liked the review!
Thank you so much Elise! Indeed a lovely review by Richard
Thank you Uvi, a review comes easily after reading a very good book. 😀
Lovely review of a lovely book!
Thank you, Sheila!
Here here! Thank you Sheila!
An enticing review. I especially enjoyed the snippet you posted. I look forward to reading Apart From Love.
Uvi’s bio alone is enough to inspire… the book sounds AWESOME!
It is well worth a read. Approach it as a family saga and you’ll find a great read! 😀
Rich you have written a wonderful review, and Uvi sounds like one amazing person! I cannot believe all she has done with her life, and now she has a BOOK out? WOW. I’m a slacker compared. LOL
Thank you, Lisa Jey. Uvi’s background is amazing indeed.
Not as sure as far as your ‘slacker’ comment is concerened 😀
Check out Apart from Love! I’m confident you’ll enjoy it!
Richard, this book sounds beautiful… and so pertinent these days… How many of us have had to deal with the remarriage of a parent? Many! And Uvi’s writing style is lovely. Can’t wait to read it!
Thanks for your comment Luann! Apart from love is deeply personal. I’m impressed with how well Uvi pulled of three distinct POVs.
The technique gives the story unique insights.
Such a great review! It sounds like a great book with very interesting characters.
Thanks for bringing it to the party! I hope you have fun clicking on the guest’s links and mingling!
Thank you Susie!
It seemed a fitting topic for Valentine’s Day as today’s Wild Ride. Enjoyed the comments and links found there! Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day yourself! 🙂
Another concise and informative review, Rich. It is good to see a writer who can make the well-worn trope of the love triangle seem fresh and involving…
Uvi Poznansky’s approach to the story is what made this truly unique. Her subtlety provided refreshing insights to the theme.
Appreciate your generous comments.
It’s hard to find educated people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about!