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“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.”

So I am a huge psychology nerd and the idea that someone wrote a romance novel about Freud makes me so happy. I also love how the women who wrote the book cared enough about their subject to take enough care to write about Freud’s work and his partnerships in a way that actually agrees with the history of Freud. One of the big things that I loved was that Freud was seen as a pervert because of his research focus, which is very accurate to what is written about Freud.

The basic plot is Minna moves in with the Freuds and Sigmund shares his research with her. Through the course of the sharing they become intimate which results in an abortion. This may or may not explain the real life abortion of Minna. If it did I hope that they were as happy as they were in this book and that everything happen just this way. It was the least painful and the most romantic way it could have happened. 

I want to read more books by this pair. The women were not seen as falling for abusive men. Instead is explains why each of the sisters would like the chain smoking intellectual when he isn’t actually desirable in the world that was constructed because of his research and his oddities. 

I really hope that this pair goes out of their way to now write romance novels about the other founders of psychology. PLEASE. 

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4 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this book.

You can buy this book here.

~Isaiah

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