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Freud's Mistress

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  3,225 Ratings  ·  461 Reviews
For fans of The Paris Wife, Loving Frank, The Other Boleyn Girl and Shanghai Girls . . . a novel inspired by the true-life love affair between Sigmund Freud and his sister-in-law, Minna Bernays.

Minna Bernays is an overeducated woman with limited options. Fired yet again for speaking her mind, she finds herself out on the street and out of options. In 1895 Vienna, even thou
Hardcover, 357 pages
Published July 9th 2013 by Putnam Adult (first published January 1st 2013)
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Nov 14, 2015 Simona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A avut într-adevăr Sigmund Freud o amantă, iar aceasta a fost nimeni alta decât Minna Bernays, sora propriei soţii?
Printre cei care dau drept sigur acest lucru se numără Carl Gustav Jung, discipolul elveţian şi, mai târziu, inamicul declarat al profesorului Freud. Apropiații precum și unii biografi au respins însă vehement cele susţinute de Jung, afirmând că Freud a avut întotdeauna o viaţă de familie exemplară, şi-a iubit mult soţia și a fost un monogam convins.
Minna Bernays şi-a pierdut în 18
I received this book in a Goodreads give away.

Before I started reading FREUD'S MISTRESS I had to throw out everything I had stored in my mind about Sigmund Freud, and try to see him as a romantic figure. This was not an easy task let me tell you. Most of the images I had in my head were of him as a stern, sex obsessed, egotistical, cigar smoking, stick up his bum "gentleman" that had some pretty crazy theories on how the mind works. So it was not surprising that it took me a couple of attempts a
Joanne Guidoccio
Jul 17, 2013 Joanne Guidoccio rated it really liked it
Very little is known about Minna Bernays, the other woman in Sigmund Freud’s household.

While she was speculated to have been his mistress, this controversial claim was dismissed by Freudian scholars.

All that changed during the summer of 2006.

A German sociologist discovered proof that Sigmund Freud and Minna Bernays had spent two weeks in August 1898 at a fashionable resort in Switzerland. An old ledger clearly showed that they occupied Room 11 on the third floor.

In Freud’s Mistress, authors Kare
Jun 20, 2013 Laurie rated it really liked it
Freud has never been one of my favorite people from history; while I respect his genius in discovering the subconscious mind, conversion, and talk therapy, I never thought a lot of him as a person. He seemed egotistical and argumentative, dropping associates if they disagreed with him. All images I saw were of him as an older man, already bald, smoking a cigar. I knew nothing about his personal life. This historical novel shows us a younger man, one who could be charming when he wished to be. Sa ...more
Jul 13, 2013 M rated it it was ok
There's lots that's wrong with this book. It is an imagined exploration of the as yet unconclusive affair that Freud supposedly had with his brother's wife (ewwww) while she was living with them (for like forty years!). Many imagined retellings have the issue of being contrived piecemeal awkward non stories that are more a retroactive patchwork of research, plus they are often derailed with anachronistic writing - this book was guilty of this and more.
I for one did not know about this major blig
Mar 15, 2013 Orsolya rated it really liked it
Having previously read “Freud’s Sister” by Goce Smilevski (much recommended); I was instantly drawn to “Freud’s Mistress” by Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman. “Freud’s Mistress” portrays Minna Bernays, Freud’s sister-in-law and speculated lover (ahem Freud: you certainly your own issues!).

“Freud’s Mistress” instantly dives into a dramatic and compelling character of Minna and a plot which comes alive to the reader. There is an element of recognition and calmness; yet, one immediately wants to kee
Andrea Guy
It is terribly hard to turn Sigmund Freud into a romantic character. It is a good think that Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman don't try to do that with their book Freud's Mistress. What they do remarkably well is show how his wife's sister came to be a huge part of his life as more than just a sister-in-law.

Minna is completely different from her sister Martha. She's younger and she's more interested Freud's work.
She's really a difficult person to like, but really the same could be said for both
May 28, 2013 Jaylia3 rated it it was amazing
A richly imagined, historically based story

On every page Freud’s Mistress evokes the layered sights, sounds, fashions, and aromas of late 19th century Vienna, and that alone would have kept me reading, but I was drawn to the sensitively imagined story of two real sisters just as much. As it is for Jane Austen’s female characters, there are not a lot of life choices for Martha Freud and her sister Minna Bernays. Martha is financially comfortable, but she’s overwhelmed by the job of caring for her
When I first realized two people authored this book I was a little concerned that a book written by two authors would feel like it was written by two authors. I was pleased and surprised by how fluid the writing was, I expected there to be an unevenness to it, but there wasn't.

While this is not the most flattering portrayal of Sigmund Freud, it certainly is a believable one. The authors depict the progression of his relationship with his sister in law, from proper to improper and then illicit. T
Jul 15, 2013 Sherrie rated it really liked it
I did some research on line while I was reading this book and the authors really have their historical facts in order. Be sure and read their thoughts at the end of the book. Drugs were thought of as being acceptable for many uses during this time period but it was still shocking to read about. Freud's ego was huge but his behavior is typical of that time period. I enjoyed this peak into the life of Dr. Freud and the women who had to put up with him.
Lauren Stoolfire
Jan 07, 2017 Lauren Stoolfire rated it it was ok
Well-written and plotted. I liked seeing real world references in the story. Minna made the story, but I was still half mad at everyone throughout.
Taylor Caitlin
Jun 10, 2013 Taylor Caitlin rated it really liked it
I received this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

I really enjoyed reading this book. Freud is portrayed in exactly the way I imagined he would have been in real life- charismatic, brilliant, egotistical, and completely ignorant about women and relationships. It was very interesting to read about one of the world's most well known psychologists and witness him behave so predictably and stereotypically.

While Freud is one of the major characters, the protagonist of the story is Minna Bernay
Aug 08, 2013 Lectus rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned

For many, including myself, it is difficult to think of Freud as a romantic character. Thanks to preconceived views of Freud (maybe?), I couldn’t connect with the romantic side of this story.

Did Freud really have an affair with his wife’s sister? Historians neither confirm it or deny it.

I have to say that the way Freud’s Mistress is written make Mack and Kaufman literary geniuses. The writing really is brilliant, the flow is impeccable, and the narrati
Aug 26, 2013 Sharon rated it really liked it
"He was an unhappy man, and unhappy men are dangerous." This line so aptly describes the situation that Minna Bernay's finds herself drawn into as imagined by Karen Mack. Minna is the sister-in-law of Sigmund Freud, the 'mythic father of psychoanalysis',and they were rumored to have had an affair. It wasn't until 2006 that the rumors were substantiated with the discovery that they had actually registered in a hotel as man and wife on August 13, 1898. Mack used letters between Sigmund and his clo ...more
Carol Custer
Jul 10, 2013 Carol Custer rated it it was amazing
I’d never given much thought to Sigmund Freud’s life before but I quickly became engrossed in this historical fiction account of a part of it. The authors’ did meticulous research in order to portray the people and times as they were. They took an often disputed idea that Freud had an affair with Minna, his wife Martha’s sister – and they ran with it. The story is totally believable and interesting. The characters came alive on the page and what could have read like a soap opera script, instead ...more
Jul 17, 2013 Georgesand rated it did not like it
Stereotypes, not many layered personalities. Martha was chubby and Minna was slender, that's supposed to "say it all?" Very shallow interpretations. Since so little is known about Minna and Martha, I would have written Martha as more like Emma Jung, who shared her husband, Carl, with Tony Wolfe, was a very intelligent woman, and went into therapy herself. Minna traveled openly with SigF, everyone pretty much knew it. The Speilrein hype is just hype. In my opinion the Freud family settled into a ...more
Sep 09, 2013 Jen rated it liked it
This book was slow to get started. The build up of whether they had feelings for one another and if the other felt the same seemed to take forever. Just as I was about to put the book down their relationship finally began to have some depth and advanced beyond speculation. From that point the book sped along to the finish. After the never ending angst of their wait to confess their feelings it was a sudden race to the end. This book was a wonderful starting point for a book but lacked in signifi ...more
May 09, 2013 ☮Karen rated it liked it
This is historical fiction with a capital F as it’s all based on little proof that Mrs. Freud’s sister ever had an affair with Dr. Freud. That said, the story depicted the women of the 1890’s very well: If you’re not married, you spend your days in pitiful boredom with little direction in life. Here we have Minna Bernay, the intelligent and interesting sister of Martha Freud, who is nothing more to Freud than the mother of his 6 children. Minna moves in with the Freuds to help care for the kids, ...more
Suzy Brookhart
Dec 29, 2013 Suzy Brookhart rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book-maybe because I was a psychology major. Enjoyable read and some true historical background. A recent article does think Freud did have an affair with his sister-in-law Minna. I enjoyed learning a little more about Freud, but it was more about a marriage, it's faults and the development of an affair. Freud, obviously an intellect, is married to Martha and has 6 children. Martha, obviously is overwhelmed with the 6 children and her focus is on the daily househould chores ...more
Jul 12, 2013 Bettie☯ marked it as maybe
See where the blurb box says: For fans of The Paris Wife, Loving Frank, The Other Boleyn Girl and Shanghai Girls . . . a novel inspired by the true-life love affair between Sigmund Freud and his sister-in-law, Minna Bernays.

I hated the Paris Wife, Loving Frank (dreadful beyond words) etc, I still would like a tilt at this!
May 29, 2013 Kathryn marked it as to-read
Shelves: first-reads
This book seems like it will be so interesting! I think I will have to hide this book from my daughter, so I can rad it first.
In Freud’s Mistress by Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman, Minna Bernays is a woman caught in between social changes. The revolutionary ideas that began to spark in earnest during the final years of the 20th century, ideas she firmly embraces, had not yet drilled down into women’s rights. For someone against the idea of marriage for marriage’s sake and against the very limited employment possibilities for single women, she has very little options in regards to hearth and income. Minna does what so ...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I'm all over the place with this book: I liked some aspects of it and disliked others and I really don't know where to settle in the end.

Opening in 1895, the novel follows Minna Bernays, sister to Sigmund Freud's wife Martha. Minna is pretty, clever, and unwilling to settle into marriage for convenience or comfort. As a result, she's relegated to life as a domestic for upper class Austrian families, a job she routinely loses. Minna would prefer to drink gin and smoke cigarettes in her bedroom, r
Jun 23, 2015 Dot rated it really liked it
It's the turn-of-the-century in Vienna, and Minna Bernays is a very well-educated, well-spoken woman in her late 20s. Minna doesn't want to just "settle" for any man man to marry and, as a result, has spent years working as a lady's companion for various upper-class women doing menial tasks that make her a little "better" than your average servant but not quite "good enough" to be a true lady. Minna needs help getting in the right social circles to meet that special man she knows is out there so ...more
Bella Martinez
A very real look into the mind of a mistress. Minna is a relatable heroine, and her addiction to Freud is eloquently described.
Lydia Laceby
Sep 30, 2013 Lydia Laceby rated it liked it
3.5 Star

Originally reviewed at Novel Escapes.

Having studied psychology in university, I found this one an interesting read, although not a very engaging one. Based on the recently substantiated rumour that Freud was having an affair with his sister-in-law, Freud’s Mistress delves deep into Freud’s life through his wife’s sister’s eyes in a fictional account. Told from her viewpoint, we’re given an account of the infamous figure, his family life, his theories and his work.

Minna and her sister, M
Nancy Narma
Jun 11, 2014 Nancy Narma rated it really liked it
“A Tender Love Story Punctuated With Misplaced Loyalty and Betrayal”

At almost thirty years of age, attractive and well-educated Minna Bernays should be married with children, but instead, she is employed by brusque, stern, unsympathetic Baroness Wolff as her “Lady’s Companion”—that is, until she left her employ, taking 10 yr. old scullery maid, Flora with her. Minna had been hired and fired several times before, so the question of future employment was not foremost on her mind—the safety and wel
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Jun 25, 2014 Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews rated it really liked it

Out of work and no where to go, Minna had no other recourse but to ask her sister to take her in.

Minna knew the household wouldn't be calm with six children and a household staff, but she managed. In fact, she managed very well. The children fell in love with her and so did her brother-in-law. Or did he really fall in love with her or was she simply a convenience?

Sigmund Freud betrayed his wife, and Minna betrayed her sister. The affair started out with early evening and some late night meetings
Meg - A Bookish Affair
3.5 stars. Sigmund Freud is definitely a divisive figure. Most of what I know of his only extends to his professional life and studies. Before reading this book, I didn't know much about his personal life. "Freud's Mistress" follows Freud's potential affair with his sister-in-law, Minna Bernays, who is not a well-known figure at all. Filled with great writing, this book gives a little more insight into the man that Sigmund Freud was.

First, you need to throw out everything you think about Freud a
Петър Панчев
Фройд между любовта и терапията
Цялото ревю тук:

Заглавието на тази книга е доста интригуващо и за мен изобщо не беше проблем да посегна към нея. От една страна си е риск, защото Фройд е невероятно известен и е част от историята, а „намесата“ в личния му живот чрез тази художествена интерпретация, сътворена от солидна доза документи и солидна доза предположения, е повод един читател да бъде доста предпазлив и да не се оставя да бъде преметнат лесно. На зад
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Karen Mack, a former attorney, is a Golden Globe Award-winning film and television producer. She has co-authored three books with Jennifer Kaufman: most recently, Freud's Mistress, which received four stars from People and was on USA Today, Vanity Fair, and Marie Claire's best summer reading list for 2013; Literacy and Longing in L.A., which reached #1 on the Los Angeles Times Bestseller List and ...more
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