"If you liked Loving Frank and The Paris Wife, you'll love Freud's Mistress!" Katie Couric
His theories would change the world—and tear hers apart.
In the vibrant, extravagant world of fin-de-siècle Vienna, Minna Bernays is an over-educated lady’s companion with a sharp, wry wit. Unwilling to settle and marry, Minna has spent years working for frivolous, difficult women, stuck in a social limbo, neither servant nor master. When Minna is abruptly fired, she finds herself out on the street and out of options. In 1895, the city is a swirl with avant-garde artists, writers and revolutionary ideas, but a single woman’s only hope for security is still marriage. In desperation, she turns to her sister, Martha, for help.
But Martha has her own problems—six young children, and an overworked, disinterested husband who happens to be the brilliant but imperious Sigmund Freud. At this time, Freud is a struggling professor, all but shunned by his peers and under attack for his theories, most of which center on sexual impulses, urges, and perversions. And while Martha is shocked and repulsed by her husband’s “pornographic” work, Minna is fascinated by his startling discoveries.
Minna is everything Martha is not—intellectually curious, engaging and passionate.
But while she and Freud embark on what is, at first, simply a meeting of the minds, something deeper is brewing beneath the surface, an invisible catastrophe that Minna cannot escape.
In this sweeping tale of love, loyalty, and betrayal, fact and fiction meld seamlessly together. After years of research, Mack and Kaufman have constructed a compelling portrait of an unforgettable woman and her struggle to reconcile her love for her sister with her obsessive desire for her sister’s husband, the mythic father of psychoanalysis.