where the writers are
NEW: Vienna Triangle
Date of Review: 
Dec.15.2008
Published Work: 
Reviewer: 
Joanne Wilkinson
Source: 
Booklist

In a sometimes uneasy amalgam of psychoanalytic history and feminist fiction, Webster, in her fourth novel (after The Beheading Game, 2006), summons Freud’s inner circle. Young scholar Kate Berg is spending the summer of 1968 in Provincetown with her ailing mother when she has a chance encounter with pioneering analyst Helene Deutsch, one of the last surviving members of Freud’s inner circle. About to begin a dissertation on the early female analysts, Kate is eager to interview Helene about the movement that so powerfully shaped the twentieth century. What she hears about the infidelity, backstabbing, and sheer cruelty of the enlightened ones shocks her, especially after she learns she may be the granddaughter of Victor Tausk, one of Freud’s most brilliant disciples. Meanwhile, like Helene once did, Kate must face down questions about what it means to be a good mother and finding the right balance between work and family. An intriguing if speculative portrait of Freud’s earliest disciples and their tangled history that will be of special interest to psychology students.