Apart From Love

Apart From Love

by Uvi Poznansky

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Overview

Apart From Love by Uvi Poznansky

Apart from Love contains volume I and II of the seriesStill Life with Memories,woven together around the same events in 1980, when Ben returns to meet his father, Lenny, and his new wife, Anita. It is then that he discovers a family secret. How will they find a path out of conflicts, out of isolation, from guilt to forgiveness?

My Own Voice (volume I, "As told by Anita"):
Ten years ago, when she was seventeen, Anita started an affair with Lenny, in spite of knowing that he was a married man. Now married to him and carrying his child, she finds herself condemned to compete with Natasha's shadow, the memory of her brilliance back in her prime, before she succumbed to early-onset Alzheimer's. Despite Anita's lack of education, her rough slang, and what happened to her in the past, Lenny tries to transform her. He wants her to become Natasha.
Faced with his compelling wish, and the way he writes her as a character in his book, how can Anita find a voice of her own? And when his estranged son, Ben, comes back and lives in the same small apartment, can she keep the balance between the two men, whose desire for her is marred by guilt and blame?

The White Piano (volume II, "As told by Ben"):
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.

Do you like historical fiction about the 20th century, especially when it is tinged with romance and wrapped in a family saga? Then this series is for you.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780984993208
Publisher: Uvi Poznansky
Publication date: 02/15/2012
Series: Still Life with Memories
Pages: 350
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.78(d)
Age Range: 16 Years

Read an Excerpt

About a year ago I sifted through the contents of my suitcase, and was just about to discard a letter, which my father had written to me some time ago. Almost by accident my eye caught the line, I have no one to blame for all this but myself, which I had never noticed before, because it was written in an odd way, as if it were a secret code, almost: upside down, in the bottom margin of the page, with barely a space to allow any breathing.

The words left some impression in my memory. I almost wished he were next to me, so I could not only listen to him, but also record his voice saying that.

I imagined him back home, leaning over his desk, scrawling each letter with the finest of his pens with great care, as if focusing through a thick magnifying glass. The writing was truly minute, as if he had hated giving away even the slightest hint to a riddle I should have been able to solve on my own. I detested him for that. And so, thinking him unable to open his heart to me, I could never bring myself to write back. In hindsight, that may have been a mistake.

Even so, I am only too happy to agree with him: the blame for what happened in our family is his. Entirely his. If not for his actions ten years ago, I would never have run away to Firenze, to Rome, to Tel Aviv.

And if not for his actions a couple of weeks ago, this frantic call for me to come back and see him would never have been made.

And so I find myself standing here, on the threshold of where I grew up, feeling utterly awkward. I knock, and a stranger opens the door. The first thing that comes to mind: what is she doing here? The second thing: she is young, much too young for him. The third: her hair. Red.

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Apart from Love: A Novel 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
ChristophFischer More than 1 year ago
"Apart from Love" by Uvi Poznansky is yet another amazing novel by this very talented writer.  The book concerns Ben, a twenty-seven year old student, and his family at a time when the marriage of his parents breaks down due to the father's infidelity. The father, Len, marries Anita. Told in two separate narratives we get to see Ben's and Anita's 'sides' of the story. Poznansky gives a magnificent close-up of the family breakdown, exploring the themes of seduction, blame and love and a variety of conflicting emotions. The characters are multidimensional and with their background stories and the use of changing perspectives the book makes for some intense and at times emotional reading.  The situation is uncomfortable for all involved but nobody is purely bad or reduced to klischee, everyone tries in their ways to find harmony and love.  We question why the divorce had to happen, there is still love between the divorced couple, admiration for the pianist mother and what she brought to the family, but now that she is here Anita has also valuable things to contribute. And Ben and Anita are becoming close, too. Poznansky asks what love is and also who really does love and means it.  Conflict and contradiction never seem to go away completely and we are left with these questions. One of Poznansky's biggest talents is to challenge and change our perspective with her sharp-minded observations and powerful prose and she does so very well.
PCZ More than 1 year ago
Here is an astounding book from Uvi Poznansky with her work of literary fiction, Apart from Love. Ms. Poznansky is a multi-talented author and artist, and with this novel, she creates a multi-faceted and multi-layered work of art.  The story is told through the first person narrations of Anita, the new wife of Lenny and step-mother to the other narrator, Ben. The point of view is unique because the story is more about the love between Ben's parents, Lenny and Natasha, than the other two, who form another sort of love story. Ben's separation from his home for ten years only shows the level of dysfunction in this family. I use the word "dysfunction" with disdain sometimes because it is overused to the point where it sometimes means very little. But if any family is dysfunctional, it is this one. During Ben's absence, the lack of communication with his mother and father is evident when he comes home. For a decade, he assumed his talented pianist mother is out on tour, when in fact, his father is hiding something quite important from his son about Natasha. In the meantime, Lenny has remarried Anita who is one year younger than Ben. She's a beauty--a younger version of Natasha. It's complicated and completely dysfunctional in the true meaning of that word. Literary techniques abound in Apart from Love. The author skillfully creates symbols and metaphors with the white piano in the living room, the antique mirror in the bedroom, and the tape recorder on the balcony. The point of view represents the author's skill in writing dialogue that characterizes both Ben and Anita. It's obvious when switching between chapters who is the narrator, even though Ms. Poznansky tells the reader if it's Ben or Anita in each chapter title. That's helpful, but with her paintbrush, she paints prose that is distinct for each one. Alzheimers rears its horrifying head in parts of the story, as does the family's inability to know how to deal with it. Insanity hovers at the edges of all the characters as well, presenting the reader with that fine line between genius and the alternative. If that's not enough, Lenny is a writer who uses the words of others to create his stories. The blurred lines between reality and fiction are explored in this intimate look at how authors sometimes steal identities from others to draw portraits of real life. It's haunting in its honesty of how an author works. The "record, rewind, record" element of the story reminds me that all reality is really the fiction of our imaginations. Uvi Poznansky is a talented author who says in her bio, "I paint with my pen, and write with my paintbrush." The cover of Apart from Love and the content in between are assurances that this is true.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
And again, Uvi Poznansky uses her words as she uses the stroke of her brush to create art. Apart From Love is a journey through the complex relationships of a son, his father and his young stepmother when desires overrule propriety and create a triangle filled with emotion, past deeds and untold regrets and untruths. Told through the voices of Ben and his young stepmother, Anita, their voices resonate at such a different pitch, there is no doubt who is speaking as they record their thoughts to each other. What has drawn them toward each other? Is it Ben’s need to reconnect with his mother that he sees Anita as a younger version? When one enjoys anything from Uvi Poznansky, they can expect art on the pages, told from her heart and soul. She treats every work as a treasured piece, imparting her own manner of living a tale. Ms. Poznansky’s work cannot be rushed through; there are too many layers, too many complex thoughts that must be pondered and a tale that does not follow the expected formula. I found myself searching between her words to find a deeper meaning to her tale. When an author pulls you so far into their tale that you must struggle to leave after that last page, they truly have a gift that is to be admired. Forget high action, fast-paced drama, which is not Ms. Poznansky’s style. Savor this read, with a glass of wine and a warm fire, reality and the world will wait for you later.
BPerlin More than 1 year ago
Apart From Love has a way of seducing you and pulling the reader in. This was an intriguing story that shared more than one point of view which I really enjoyed. It was a nice touch. I found this to be a very entertaining compelling read. Hearing about these dysfunctional families caught my interest. This is a very passionate story that was done in a creative way. The writing was sharp without being complicated. There were some unusual moments in this well written, somewhat poetic story that really captured my attention and kept me intrigued and entertained all the way though.
MavenDA More than 1 year ago
Uvi Paznansky 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 dysfuntional 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 Paznansky 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 defintely 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. Uvi Paznansky has done just that! Kudos to her on a job well done!
Bill_Nelson More than 1 year ago
Truly wonderful. I didn’t need to read the author’s bio to know she was a poet. The writing is lyrical, eloquent and yes, poetic. And, I could have guessed Poznansky is also an artist, as each scene is painted with lovely sentences and paragraphs that seem to be created out of a vision delivered by a muse.  Apart From Love, by Uvi Poznansky is an emotional story told with care. It deals with love and secrets (and all that they entail) and finally, a quest for understanding.  We hear this story from Ben, “Here is my latest revelation: I have been in hiding for so long that at this point, by some strange twist, my mind starts rebelling against me. I know it, because – in spite of my efforts to disguise myself, to alter my looks and behavior – I find myself wishing to be found out.” And from Anita, “I open the bedroom window, and feel warm spring air coming in, blowing gently into my face, which feels like a promise.” But I might have enjoyed the cleverly named Mr. Bliss the most. Apart From Love is a beautiful thing to read. Highly recommended. 
Michelle760 More than 1 year ago
Uvi Poznansky has written a captivating and insightful story that will grasp readers from the very beginning. Throughout the novel the prose is not only artfully crafted, it is poetic in nature. The characters are rich with imperfections, which is what I love most about them. Right away Ben's complex emotions toward returning to his family home after a ten year hiatus, had me engaged. Then along came Anita, with her quirky ways and uneducated, but endearing way of speaking, and added a whole new element to the story. As secrets are revealed piece by piece, the reader can't help but feel part of the story, invested in the lives of these characters. I highly recommend this book.
DeAnnNative More than 1 year ago
Touchingly Warmhearted and Eloquently Written….. I was drawn in quickly by the quiet articulacy in which the author introduces you to a world of love, mistrust, acceptance, anger as well as the full history of the characters within her novel. I enjoyed the way “Author Uvi Poznansky” patiently moves her readers through a wonderfully rich journey of a family full of secrets, full of a rich and even sometimes tragic history….. All the while bringing us the readers into an opulent cultural understanding, that will resonate within your very being for a long time to come….. I was truly captured within the quietly expressed strength in which “Author Uvi Poznansky’s” amazing insight to each and every detail was played out. Overwhelmingly I recommend this book to everyone, and especially if you love a treasure to cherish, this is definitely the novel to read, sonrisa….
Erica46 More than 1 year ago
This book I not only beautifully written but also a page turner as well. The story will draw you in and keep you turning pages- this is a must read and will not disappoint!
ThisIsAbe More than 1 year ago
Set in Santa Monica, this story allowed me to take a peek, almost through a keyhole, into the complex life of a family ravaged by witnessing the decline of Natasha into the depth of early-onset alzheimers. Ben tries to cope with the fact of his mother's illness, while at the same time, in spite of himself, he falls for his father's new wife Anita.
Dave_BookLover More than 1 year ago
Told from two completely different points of view, the relationship between the two main characters, Ben and Anita, is truly fascinating. It is the case of He Said, She Said. And what's more, they say it on tape, overwriting previous recordings at times, which adds a layer of mystery. The story lingered in my mind long after I finished reading it. I highly recommend it.
BookReads More than 1 year ago
Apart From Love tells the story from the three main character's own perception about an inherently dysfunctional family, Ben, Ben's father Lenny and Lenny's new wife Anita. It is a superbly written novel. From the characters' views you will know what is really going on and it's up to you to decide who is at fault or not at fault for the ripples. Uvi Pozansky skillfully develops the story through the voices of her characters and totally brings them to life. Highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Using a lovely, lyrical prose, Uvi Poznansky gently guides the reader into the deep cavern of a dysfunctional family playing out their own form of a Shakespearean tragedy. The protagonists are four-fold: an emotionally detached father and in his wake, his emotionally bereft son; an ex-wife experiencing a serious illness, and a very young second wife, mopping up the messy pieces while struggling with her own past. Not an easy scenario, yet Poznansky, along with beautiful descriptions, manages to portray each character with great depth and authenticity. Personally, my favorite leading figure was the second wife, Anita, who grew up with so little, yet in the midst of this highly educated and intimidating family, slowly displays her innate intelligence and ends up outshining them all. If you’re looking for a book that will make you think and offers you an in-depth study into human behavior, this is for you! Highly recommended.
CSmith0 More than 1 year ago
This book starts with the perfect title. Apart from love is a phrase used by all three of the main characters and its meaning is slightly different for all three. Amazing. This story is written by Lenny but, he uses Ben's and Anita's words as they seem to narrate. A story of secrets, family conflicts and confusion. Each of the characters has a stumbling block which keeps them unable to love or be loved.
ChristianAshley More than 1 year ago
"Apart From Love" is a truly artistic novel that is difficult to put down. As I had understood it, "Apart From Love" was a collection of journal entries which explained why Anita and Ben were both presented in first person throughout the book. I was raised in West Los Angeles, and recognized well every place discussed in the book as Uvi's descriptions were perfect. The way that the story unfolded and how the ending was presented and explained afterward absolutely amazed me. FIVE STARS ~Sherri Christian 
William_O_Brien More than 1 year ago
Be drawn into this exceptional talent! Apart From Love Uvi Poznansky A beautiful and unique work from Uvi Poznansky. Apart From Love is a sensitive and sensuous work, which entangles the senses of the reader as one dances through the strings of words to reach an intense end. The novel gives an emotional story throughout and gives a journey to the soul, encompassing the depths of dysfunction, beckoning prayers, hate and forgiveness. A very well-written book with true-to-life and believable characters of Lenny and Natasha portraying an amazing story and crafting a great literary experience of this gripping read. The highly descriptive and poetic artistry of the author is one of the best to date - wonderful work. Poznansky is one of a kind - be drawn into this exceptional talent! Superb 5*****
LakeGirl2015 More than 1 year ago
A famous poet, translator, and philosopher Samuil Marshak once said that frequent use of highly emotional words robs them of their meaning, making them dull and lackluster, like an old coin losing its shine. And that's exactly what Anita, the young wife of Ben's aging father, says to her husband in the story: "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. Coming from uneducated Anita, who is a far cry from being a poet or a philosopher, this thought acquires an even more poignant and raw meaning. She is not trying to impress anyone, she is speaking her heart and her mind, trying to cope with the turmoil of her aging husband's fast decline and her growing attraction for his adult son Ben. Emotions run high in this story by Uvi Poznansky, made even more prominent by her use of alternating points of view throughout different chapters. All the main characters get a voice and an opportunity to share their thoughts, desires, internal struggles, and guilt, just like Ben eloquently expresses in this passage as he is falling for Anita: "...I should have been more careful...I am surrounded - and at the same time, isolated. I am alone. I am apart from Love." A beautifully-written and deeply philosophical book. Highly recommended.
Marguerite52 More than 1 year ago
Free book for review. It is all in this book, love, secrets as well as all the ups and downs in life. A must read.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
A visually inspiring tale threaded with the music of love While the premise of Uvi Poznansky’s Apart from Love may not be entirely convincing, the characters soon draw the reader in, and an air of fable covers any sense of dissociation from reality. Returning from long absence to revisit his elderly father, Ben finds himself oddly drawn to the new young wife who so resembles his absent mother. The missing mother was a concert pianist who divorced his father and left to tour the world. But this story’s more about art than music, truths reflected in the shifting landscapes of lives and memory, photographs holding future promise as well as past regret, and symmetries breaking into triangular pain. Ostensibly the story of Ben and Anita, as told in their two voices, this tale becomes instead the story of Ben’s father, enduring love, and the haunting music of past misdeeds, misunderstandings and loss. Anita’s voice, initially jarring in its somehow false California-girl “like”s, becomes a metaphor for nothing being quite what it seems. A mirror reflects truth and falsehood. A cultural veneer might be added by the speaker or subtracted by one who renders her words after secretly listening. And memory, even when captured on tape, might never be quite what it seems. Apart from Love has a feel of modern art, inviting readers in to enjoy, explore and eventually wrap themselves in the mystery of lives and loves drawn together and thrown apart. An intriguing tale, it’s not an easy read but it’s certainly an involving one that doesn’t necessarily go where the reader expects. Disclosure: I received a free copy of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest review.