Marta Rosenbilt is the daughter of the prominent psychiatrist, Arnold Rosenbilt. Shaped by her father as his protégé, Marta is quite unconventional for a woman of her time, and in 1927 Vienna, to be unconventional is to incite not just curiosity but also to attract gossip and innuendo. Encouraged by a family friend, Dr Leopold Kaposi, to break away from her father’s stifling influence, Marta tries to become more independent of thought and action. When she has a chance encounter with a young medical graduate, Elise Salomon, the possibilities of friendship are attractive to Marta, but it soon becomes evident that Elise has some furtive secrets of her own.
What the follows is an absorbing story which looks at the struggle both Marta and Elise had in trying to succeed professionally. The darkness to the narrative is entirely in keeping with time and place and adds an authentic touch to the story. The many twists and turns in the story kept me guessing and I enjoyed reading about the early days of psychiatry, and the huge struggle that women had, generally, to prosper and thrive in a male dominated world.
It’s obvious from reading the novel that the author care passionately about writing and has developed her own unique style of writing. I am sure that this is just the start of a fascinating writing career and I shall watch how this develops with great interest.
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My thanks to the author for sharing her book with me.
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