Tesserae: A Memoir of Two Summers

Tesserae: A Memoir of Two Summers

by Mathias B. Freese


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"Tesserae: A Memoir of Two Summers stands above much of the crowd in its commitment to ask, 'What is it to remember?' Mathias B. Freese, tenderly plaiting a web that spreads from Woodstock, Las Vegas, Long Island, and North Carolina, locates friends and family, lovers long since gone, desire and passion sometimes quenched sometimes unrequited, and the harrowing agony that comes from that most soul-crushing word of all, regret. But Tesserae is not a work of sadness and grief. Rather, it is an effort from a trained psychotherapist adept at understanding the feelings that we all have. The quiescence found has a staying effect upon the mind; this memoir lingers in the reader's memory for some time."
-- Steven Berndt, Professor of American Literature, College of Southern Nevada

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781627873536
Publisher: Wheatmark
Publication date: 01/18/2016
Pages: 236
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.54(d)

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Tesserae: A Memoir of Two Summers 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
JBronder More than 1 year ago
Tesserae follows the author from his birth in 1940 to 2015 and around two pivotal years in Woodstock (the town not the party). Matt recounts different events in his life but circles round to how Woodstock made him feel and drew him back from time to time. I like how this story is put together. It feels just like you are talking to someone as they recount their life. Matt has several stories that circle through different parts of his life. Matt doesn’t feel that he has accomplish much in his life as he tells his story. I think we all feel like Matt if we looked back on our life like he does. But the real gems are the different events he lived through, the adversary that he faced, and trying to pass that knowledge on. That is what really makes this book great. Life is not easy but that is how it shapes us. And just hearing another person’s stories helps unite us as we all struggle with our own lives. This is a great story and one that I strongly recommend everyone read. I have been lucky enough to receive Tesserae for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Ryan Jordan for Readers' Favorite Tesserae: A Memoir of Two Summers by Mathias B. Freese starts off with a discussion between a client and a therapist about a man named Matt's life and his affair with a woman named Marlene. The therapist is trying to help him understand what Marlene offers him that his wife does not, and get at the root of what is wrong with this man. It feels almost like reading a play, and it is easy to imagine these people speaking out loud in a therapist's office, with Matt reclining and the therapist prompting him to continue speaking. It even has notes scattered throughout to fill the reader in on pauses and actions. It transitions from this to notes by the therapist where the client is described as vacant and not in control, and he is speaking from outside himself. I found myself enjoying this writing style quite a bit, because it managed to introduce different kinds of storytelling and cover the actual substance of the novel in a roundabout way. It felt very creative and brought new levels of information to the story without just giving us the 'details.' We start to see our protagonist discuss his life and we get a very vivid personality. For example, in the chapter On Marlene, he is discussing why they couldn't articulate wanting a divorce, and he says: "I identify with The Defiant Ones in which escaped inmates, played by Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier, run from pursuing authorities, shackled together, relying on each other to move this way or that." The book is full of personable moments like this. This style of relating details and explaining really made the story come to life. This is just a compilation of essays and small sections, but they contain a brilliant world view that gradually coalesces as the volume progresses, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Tesserae: A Memoir of Two Summers by Mathias B. Freese is a brilliant memoir that will stay with you long after you finish reading.
franellan More than 1 year ago
Tessarae: Mathias b. Freese Life is fragile at times and all too often we let ourselves fall prey to our own human frailties. Within this memoir the author allows us to take a microscopic look inside his mind, heart, body and inner most thoughts as he opens up his life to readers. If you were to create a mosaic of your life and put the small tiles together you might have hundreds of different scenes that depict who you are. What would happen if you each tile you wrote the date, a word or something that would help others remember you and you to recall the significance of that date or time. The sixties was a highly volatile time period both politically and socially for so many. Woodstock would earmark the changes in culture, music, attitude, exploration and human perspectives on life, authority and work. What would happen if as you complete this mosaic one title comes lose and then another creating a broken piece or work of your art and the fallen tiles leave nothing more than shards, pieces of the tiles : Tessare. Take a trip back to the time where it all began where music and songs reflected not only the political climate but change in the way teens and young adults focused on drugs, alcohol and even free sex. Some would forge ahead while others would succumb to the mores of the time as the book opens up with an enlightening session between the author and their therapist setting the tone for what is to come. The author goes into detail about his affair with Marlene, how it affected his life, his moral values and the fact that when he ended the relationship it was at the ill advice he states of his own therapist. Focusing on choices that have to be made the author often needed to reassess the problem and decide in which direction to go. Marlene he thought was right for him but when the relationship ended she moved one. Two summers that of 68 and 69 would define the author’s life, moods and actions as he spent them living in Woodstock where he lives a life filled with openness, hoping to find love, acceptance and a place within the world that he would fit in. As you the reader get to explore the time, his friendships and hear his voice you will learn more about his struggles, his failures, successes and the marriage to Adrienne and his subsequent affair with Marlene as eh hopes to find love, joy but in the end some of those tiles in the mosaic took on different shapes and the glue that held them together shattered. Everyone experiences failures and shattered moments as you take the many journeys to Woodstock, meet his friend Hal and learn about his own infidelities, how his wife dealt with them and the end result of so many failed relationships you begin to understand the power of this era, the impact it had on morals, values, music and politics as each of the characters presents his/her own views while the author in every case needs to find some part of him that matters to each one. Two of the most revealing chapters came when he reflects upon how he treated his daughter Caryn and the fact that she felt unloved and deserted. He never expressed any love for her nor did he understand that she might have mental issues when she got older but merely looked at her even as young as five years old as en extension of her mother a person he despised. The chapter with his son Jordan allows readers to understand why Woodstock will always hold mixed emotions and memories in Matt’s mind and how he wanted to share which he does the meaning