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Apart From Love [Kindle Edition]

Uvi Poznansky
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Secrets, passion, betrayal...
Coming back to his childhood home after years of absence, Ben is unprepared for the secret, which is now revealed to him: his mother, Natasha, who used to be a brilliant pianist, is losing herself to early-onset Alzheimer's, which turns the way her mind works into a riddle. His father has remarried, and his new wife, Anita, looks remarkably similar to Natasha--only much younger. In this state of being isolated, being apart from love, how will Ben react when it is so tempting to resort to blame and guilt? "In our family, forgiveness is something you pray for, something you yearn to receive--but so seldom do you give it to others."

Behind his father's back, Ben and Anita find themselves increasingly drawn to each other. They take turns using an old tape recorder to express their most intimate thoughts, not realizing at first that their voices are being captured by him. These tapes, with his eloquent speech and her slang, reveal the story from two opposite viewpoints.

What emerges in this family is a struggle, a desperate, daring struggle to find a path out of conflicts, out of isolation, from guilt to forgiveness.

Where does the title, Apart From Love, come from?
The word Love is used sparingly in the novel, which makes it ever more precious. The title comes from a phrase used three times in the story:

After a while I whispered, like, "Just say something to me. Anything." And I thought, Any other word apart from Love, 'cause that word is diluted, and no one knows what it really means, anyway.
Anita

Why, why can't you say nothing? Say any word--but that one, 'cause you don't really mean it. Nobody does. Say anything, apart from Love.
Anita

For my own sake I should have been much more careful. Now--even in her absence--I find myself in her hands, which feels strange to me. I am surrounded--and at the same time, isolated. I am alone. I am apart from Love.
Ben



Editorial Reviews

Review

Reviews for Apart From Love:

★ So much more could be said about the manner in which the author brings understanding to the hierarchies of relationships, but that would be robbing the reader of the joy of discoveries that Poznanasky accomplishes in this profound novel. -Grady Harp, Hall of Fame Reviewer
★ One of Poznansky's biggest talents is to challenge and change our perspective with her sharp-minded observations and powerful prose-Christoph Fischer, Top 500 reviewer
★ There is an air of mystery about the book that runs from the beginning to the final pages, but that also draws the reader in and makes the book difficult to put down-Kathy Parsons, Top 1000 Reviewer

From the Author

How do we preserve memory, how do we lose it?
"I picture her staring at the black-and-white image of her brain, not quite understanding what they are telling her. 
The doctors, they point out the overall loss of brain tissue, the enlargement of the ventricles, the abnormal clusters between nerve cells, some of which are already dying, shrouded eerily by a net of frayed, twisted strands. They tell her about the shriveling of the cortex, which controls brain functions such as remembering and planning. 
And that is the moment when in a flash, mom can see clearly, in all shades of gray blooming there, on that image, how it happens, how her past and her future are slowly, irreversibly being wiped away--until she is a woman, forgotten."

How do we preserve memory, how do we lose it? I am fascinated by these questions. My novel, Apart From Love, is inspired by the affect of Alzheimer's not only on the afflicted but on the entire family. 

Ben's mother used to be a gifted pianist and is now stricken by early-onset Alzheimer's, a rare form of the disease that appears in younger patients than usual. In her profession she depends on her brain, and the fear of losing control is paralyzing. It takes a while for Ben to fully realize that her mind betrays her. Here he imagines her reaction when she is given the diagnosis, after many years of being misdiagnosed.

Can we put slang-speaking characters center-stage? 
You may recall the play-in-a-play, performed by the rude mechanics at the end of Midsummer Night's Dream, aptly described in their own words as 'The most lamentable comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby.' These would-be actors, whose ability to express themselves is unabashedly mocked by their audience, were used by Shakespeare mainly for comic relief.

It was only later in the history of literature that characters of the lower class were taken seriously, and their point of view began to resonate, despite much controversy, with readers and theatre goers. For example, between 1961 and 1982, The Catcher in the Rye was the most censored book in high schools and libraries in the United States. And yet today, it is recognized as an American classic, giving voice to teenage confusion, angst, alienation and rebellion. I suggest to you that in even today, there are two clashing views about the use of slang-talking characters, one from those who see themselves as 'upscale, educated nobility'--and the other, the more 'democratic' one, from the rest of us.

You would be hard-pressed to find a three-syllable word in anything the female character in Apart From Love says. Anita compensates for the lack of long words by descriptive, sensual sequences comprised of short words. She uses the dreaded double-negative, and of the word 'like', quite liberally. She talks in slang--yet she is lyrical. 

So I ask you: why can't a character combine both? Are we still bound to write for the Pyramus and Thisby audience? Even if your grammar is atrocious, even if your vocabulary is somewhat lacking, does that mean you can't feel the throes of pain, or the exhilaration of joy? Does it mean you can't paint in words what you see, feel and think? As you form your own answer, I invite you to sense the texture and the power of unrefined language, by listening to Anita's voice:

"What matters is only what's here. I touch my skin right under my breasts, which is where the little one's curled, and where he kicks, 'cause he has to. Like, he don't feel so cosy no more. Here, can you feel it? I reckon he wants me to talk to him. He can hear me inside, for sure. He can hear every note of this silvery music. It ripples all around him, wave after wave. I can tell that it's starting to sooth him. It's so full of joy, of delight, even if to him, it's coming across somewhat muffled. Like a dream in a dream, it's floating inside, into his soft, tender ear. I close my eyes and hold myself, wrapping my arms real soft--around me around him--and I rock ever so gently, back and forth, back and forth, with every note of this silvery marvel. You can barely hear me--but here I am, singing along. I'm whispering words into myself, into him."

Product Details

  • File Size: 542 KB
  • Print Length: 351 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Uvi Poznansky (December 25, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006WPITP0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,445 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique & Spellbinding!! May 18, 2012
Format:Paperback
Author Uvi Poznansky is an artist! There is no doubt about it. As I read "Apart from Love", I was drawn into a masterfully created piece of artwork. This is no ordinary novel. It richly depicts the product of a dysfunctional family and how they are drawn together, yet so repulsed by each other.

There is a quality so deep and raw in "Apart from Love" that it's almost impossible to put this book down. In my opinion, Uvi Poznansky writes like a painter. She starts with a clean canvas and dabs a little paint here and a little paint there as she develops her characters and creates her masterpiece. Her strokes then become broader, more passionate, more vivid and vibrant as she continues to let her characters' stories unfold. She draws you in to a deeper level than you might actually want to go as she ignites the fire to your own love, passions, and fears.

Ben, the 27 year old son grudgingly returns home many years after the divorce of his parents, Lenny and Natasha. He finds that there is a mutual attraction between his father's young wife Anita, and himself. Their stories, along with Lenny's are related in a narrative as each person has the opportunity to share his side of the events that take place. "Apart from Love" reminds me of a movie I enjoyed many years ago...Cat on a Hot Tin Roof because it is a well-written drama that could take place on a stage similar to this movie. In "Apart from Love" Ben states..."In our family, forgiveness is something you pray for, something you yearn to receive but so seldom do you give to others." There is definitely a great need for forgiveness both on the giving end as well as the receiving end in this novel.

Similar to any other work of art, the artist leaves so much of themselves in their work.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely my cup of tea! August 3, 2014
Format:Paperback
Apart From Love by the multi-talented author/artist Uvi Poznanski is a wonderful novel and totally my cup of tea – the prose is fragrant, flavorful, and deeply moving.

The two POV characters sharing their feelings in Apart From Love are poignant and tremendously telling. Ms. Poznanski’s writing is fluent and graceful, and I found no awkwardness via the transitions from one POV character to the other.

Every element in this powerful story touches on the realisms of a dysfunctional family, coupled with Alzheimer’s and a possible incestuous relationship between two in-laws. Apart from this, I will share no more! Keep reading please!

After scrolling through the reviews on Apart From Love, I couldn’t help but wonder why there were a few Debbie Downers in the review department. Yes, there’re some weird family integrations that could be misjudged or misinterpreted, but this narrative is one of the best literary genre stories I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. Believe me, I'm a multi-genre freak, and I read ALOT.

I will not share any more information, because I never review and share spoilers, but I hope I’ve shared enough of the value via the message I received from Apart From Love – Buy it, Read it, LOVE it! It’s completely worthy of your attention!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Apart From Love

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.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From MainlyPiano March 28, 2012
Format:Paperback
"Apart From Love" is the debut novel by a true multi-media artist who is a writer, poet, painter, sculptor, architect, software engineer, and teacher. Uvi Poznansky was born in Israel and now makes her home in Southern California.

"Apart From Love" is a fascinating account of a series of events told from two different points of view. Ben is the estranged son of Lenny, an aspiring writer who has recently married a young woman close the same age as Ben. Anita, the new wife, is a diamond in the rough who has had a difficult life and is not particularly well-educated. Ben left the family when his parents divorced ten years before the story begins and receives a letter from his father imploring him to come home. Lenny is ill and in the hospital, and Ben comes home and meets his young step-mother for the first time. The attraction between them is strong and troubling, but they try to hide those feelings from Lenny.

Lenny's story is told from Ben's and Anita's interpretations. Both have been encouraged by Lenny to tape-record their thoughts, and neither of them realizes until later that Lenny is capturing those thoughts for a book he is writing. He has a huge collection of tapes dating back to Ben's childhood, and each chapter of the book is supposed to come from those tapes. Ben and Anita record some of their most intimate thoughts, not realizing until it's too late that Lenny is listening to them and putting them into writing. Is Lenny really writing a novel culled from the lives of his son and new wife or is he manipulating events so that life imitates art? That is never really clear, nor is Lenny's rationale for hiding the fact that his ex-wife, a piano teacher and concert pianist (and Ben's beloved mother), has been institutionalized with early-onset Alzheimer's disease.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Forced myself to finish.
I found this book disjointed and incomplete. I suspect I'm not the prime audience for this effort, as I prefer less ambiguity and 'artfulness', more succinctness and concreteness. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Marilyn Marino
5.0 out of 5 stars Richly layered work of art
Here is an astounding book from Uvi Poznansky with her work of literary fiction, Apart from Love. Ms. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Patti Ann
5.0 out of 5 stars Uniquely Original
Apart From Love is a superbly written novel about an inherently dysfunctional family. Ben, now a young man of 27, is asked to return home after his father, Lenny, is injured in a... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Cynthia B. Bergstrom
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping tale of love, despair
A gripping tale of love, despair, emotional conflict and the struggles that come in the path to reach forgiveness. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Antalis
5.0 out of 5 stars the realities of a dysfunctional family and a case of forbidden love....
"Apart From Love" is an enjoyable romance novel filled with secrets, the realities of a dysfunctional family and a case of forbidden love. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Nick (Al-Khemet Book Club)
5.0 out of 5 stars A look at the frailty and beauty of human relationships
Ben and Anita are falling in love, but theirs is not the typical love story. Author Uvi Poznansky has written an endearing and complex story that touches on the frailty and beauty... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Beach Reads
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and wonderfully done!
"Apart from Love" is a spellbinding story of one family, told from different points of view, in the delightfully smooth manner, riveting and fascinating. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Avid reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended
A wonderfully deep and engrossing novel. Uvi is a wonderful creator who takes the reader on a journey most would pay an awful lot more than a few dollars for. Read more
Published 2 months ago by The Wizard of Oz
4.0 out of 5 stars A captivating story
The characters in this novel are achingly real, each one well drawn. Sometimes you sympathize, sometimes you want to yell at them to do something completely different than what... Read more
Published 2 months ago by oregon reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice one
I found Apart From Love a very challenging reading, a nice one.
The story is developed with the use of two point of views, dragging you completely into the plot - a family... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Erania Pinnera
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More About the Author

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, and for her poetry book, Home (in tribute to her father. Her collection of dark tales, Twisted, and her Historical Fiction book, A Favorite Son, are both new age, biblically inspired books. Rise to Power (volume I) and A Peek at Bathsheba (volume II) of her trilogy The David Chronicles have just been published.

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