Saturday, 12 July 2014
Review: Interview with Mrs. Berlinski by Lauren Walden Rabb
Mrs. Berlinski, the reclusive widow of a famous concert pianist, decides to finally talk to a journalist about her life. But her revelations about a love affair six decades earlier leave the journalist in a quandry, as she can't go public with the information. And yet, she can't stop listening either. Three days later, the journalist is left with one burning question: is Mrs. Berlinski's tale of one great love or great foolishness? Based on a true story, this is a many-layered look at love, and the lies we tell ourselves and each other in the name of it.
I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. It appears that this book has been released for quite some time now however there are minimal reviews or information about it. Hopefully that will change.
This is a story right up my alley. The story is the life and love story of Emma (Mrs. Berlinski) as she shares all of her secrets to a journalist who is interested in her deceased husbands story. The end result is that her story is much more interesting and haunting then her husbands was.
I do not want to give away the plot as this is not a long read however the readers learns about a forbidden love and the path these choices take the characters on as a result. It describes an innocent love that becomes not so innocent due to the marriage of one of the characters.
I have to say that although I was drawn in to the love story I was not a fan of Jack. I must stand on my moral high horse and the fact that he was married made all of his actions (to me) seem manipulative. I understand the deep love that they shared however I do feel that a better man would not have led the lifestyle that he did. To top it all off the direction he took his life toward the end of the book added to my dislike of him. I loved Harold on the other hand and felt that he may have been too good for Emma.
Essentially the story was about Emma and not so much Jack so I was able to forgive his actions. I loved how it was from an older Emma's voice that we hear of the story of her life. The way she made her decisions and stuck to them reflected a great strength of character although it did not necessarily lead to the best choices for her well being. Add to that the era of the great depression and it spun a magical story for me.
To go back to the question posed in the books synopsis. Is Mrs. Berlinski's tale of one great love or great foolishness? My answer is it doesn't matter. Regardless of opinion this book had me glued to find out how it would all end. My only wish is that this book was marketed a little bit more as I had a hard time finding information on it and I feel it may get lost in the shuffle as a result.
About the Author
Born in the Midwest but raised in South Brunswick, NJ, Lauren is an art historian and author with two published novels: “Walking Through Time” (based on the life of 19th century artist William Lamb Picknell and his wife Gertrude) and “Interview with Mrs. Berlinski” (based on the life of Lauren’s great-aunt). Her current work, a comic novel, memorializes many real life adventures working for Hollis Taggart Galleries in the 1980s. Her short story, “The Conversation,” was published online at The Whistling Fire literary magazine on May 29, 2014.