Sunday, August 12, 2012

Freud's Sister (Goce Smilevski)

This book will be published on August 28th.  Translated from Macedonian.

Adolfina Freud was one of many children, and was a sickly child.  Her only comfort as a child were the special times she would spend with her older brother Sigmund.  He helped rid her of the torture of her mother's cruel words of regretting her birth because of her strangeness, her sickliness. As time went on and the family's golden Siggie began to grow apart from them all, and Adolfina finds her own introspective view point constantly at odds with the rest of the world, still she finds that her world somehow revolves around her brother, or his maybe around hers.  Adolfina has friends, a lover, dreams and conversation but is always unfulfilled, empty, longing.  Her mother continues to tell her that she is an oddity, an unhappy spinster.  But Adolfina is full of her observations, thoughts, philosophy.  And when it become too much, she retreats to the Nest, a madhouse.  Years of thoughts, observations, strange contentment, slip by, almost without notice, until she finds that her friends are old, her brother and his works are not immortal afterall, and life is everchanging, yet remaining the same.  The Nazis come when Adolfina and her sisters are elderly, frail and unable to defend themselves.  Golden Siggie has the documents to take himself and his family to London and safety, but he chooses to leave his sisters' names off the list, though he did include his dog.
This was an extremely poetic book. It includes a lot of philosophical conversations between characters, and of course, a lot of psychology.
 Although the entire book was thought-provoking and eloquent, the final chapter, the final pages put this book into the 5 star category. Wonderful read.


  1. Wow, this really does sound like an incredible book. Hard to believe that Sigmund was so cold and heartless to his sisters. I am curious about the ending too, which sounds fantastic!
    Great review!

  2. I'm reading the Kindle edition. It's going to be published in Brazil, but I don't know when. It's a great work, and I must thank Hemon's Best European Fiction anthology which make me know such authors. Bests from Brazil, Fabio

  3. Thanks for the comments! It is my pleasure to try to spread the word about good books! Fabio, have you made the last chapter yet? You will be wowed when you do!