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4.0 out of 5 stars
August
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2001
I read this book while on holiday in Goa, India and I must say that it kept me spellbound from start to finish. What a page-turner this novel is! If you're at all interested in the workings of the human mind and if you want to see what complex psychotherapy is all about, then read this. I feel sorry for the reader who gave this book only one star, complaining that nothing happens. The story told is a masterpiece of psychotherapy-writing and should be included as a required text in psychotherapy institutes'training programs.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 1999
A really wonderful book about therapy and the power of the therapeutic relationship. Recommend highly to anyone in therapy or any mental health professional. Sophisticated, Intense, Fun reading.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2000
I first read AUGUST at its hardcover publication, some 20 years ago, and it still holds up as an enthralling, gripping, story. Even the second time around, I couldn't stop reading to find out, at a new level, how the characters got from beginning to end... even though I knew what that end was. It's a unique additional bonus that it makes you realize how your own memories work to influence your present. You can be reading it just for the story line.... and still have incredible 'Aha's!'
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 12, 2008
The patient, Dawn, wants to tape the analysis. This is a novel about fear of rejection. It is the theme. Dawn's presenting problem is her love for her first psychiatrist, a man. Now she is seeing a female analyst. August is, of course, the month for analysts to have vacations. Patients suffer, we know, (Woody Allen).

One wonders, has Judith Rossner settled on 'hot' topics-- date rapes, Siamese twins, psychoanalysis-- in her writing? What is it about these somewhat outsider themes that is of interest to the author? Do actual cases do the work of devising a plot and a setting?

The new analyst agrees not to terminate therapy with Dawn. The patient is to make that decision. Time passes and in college now, the patient, Dawn Henley, informs her analyst, Dr. Shinefeld, that she is a nervous wreck. The author conveys perfectly the patient's neediness.

The therapist, Lulu Shinefeld, had a middle class childhood, growing up on West End Avenue. Dawn becomes for Lulu a sort of analytic daughter. Lulu feels that Dawn could embody the happiness fantasy.

Concepts of dependency and connections are illustrated by Dawn and her natural and adoptive parents and Lulu with her husbands, children, parents, and friends. Psychoanalysis is a promising arena for the playing out of complications and misunderstandings. In analysis motives are under scrutiny. The parallel paths of the patient and her analyst scaffold this well-paced and interesting novel.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2000
I first read AUGUST at its hardcover publication, some 20 years ago, and it still holds up as an enthralling, gripping, story. Even the second time around, I couldn't stop reading to find out, at a new level, how the characters got from beginning to end... even though I knew what that end was. It's a unique additional bonus that it makes you realize how your own memories work to influence your present. You can be reading it just for the story line.... and still have incredible 'Aha's!'
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 1999
I just finished reading August as I finished my training as a clinical social worker. Perhaps you have to be in the mental health field to truly appreciate this book, but I found it compelling and very well written. The characters Dawn and Dr. Shinefeld were rich and real. A must if you are in or do therapy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This novel tells a concomitant tale of a psychoanalyst and and her patient, a young woman who she is analyzing. Both lives are juxtaposed, making this book interesting and giving it a page-turning quality. The book is quite readable in an easy and fun sense.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2013
One of the only pieces of fiction about psychotherapy that conveys something of how it actually works in reality. Sure, it's a bit idealized, but it doesn't fall into the trap of cliche. Literature and films about psychologists or psychiatrists usually fall into one of two overworked tropes: the therapist turns out to be crazy, or the therapist ends up seducing the patient — and even when these are avoided, the whole notion of patient-therapist boundary is ignored. Rossner's interweaving of the back story of the therapist with the story of the therapy is nicely done, with both characters shown to be human and fallible, and the therapist for once is actually competent and insightful. As a psychiatrist myself, I find it refreshing to read something about my field that is not just soap opera clearly written by someone who has no idea of the subject. It's very rare. Rossner nailed it better than anyone else I can think of.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 1999
This is not only a great overall veiw of anaylsis, but also of life and the complexity of human beings. I would highly recomend this book to anyone.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I read this book my second year of college since it was recommended by my psychology professor. The book is interesting but at times overwhelming as young Dawn goes on an emotional journey to find herself. Dawn exhibits classic casses of transference and depression, as she works with her therapist to use her past in helping her present and future.

I recommend this book to any psychology enthusiast, although I have to give it 4 stars because its somewhat dry.
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