Guilt by Emma Kaufmann
Emma Kaufman’s Guilt presents Gilda, a writer, parent, and sister. She and her brother Clive who happen share an analyst have had a somewhat dysfunctional familial situation during their growing up years. What Gilda does not realize when she sets off on a book tour is that Clive has been gibbering the family secrets. Possibly Dr. Gerber might be able to halt the destructive developments surrounding Gilda and Clive from reaching a predictable conclusion; it may already be too late.
Dora is certain there is a something her mother is hiding; and she is resolute for trying to learn what it is. Clive and his young sweetheart, Tania, are longtime friends of Niko’s.
Emma’s daughter Dora commences then ends an affair with Gilda’s old beau Niko before she and Niko’s son Dan develop a strong interest in one another. Of course, the duo has known one another since childhood, nonetheless they have not been amorously inclined in the past.
Niko and his son Dan are struggling to understand their own, at times tempestuous association when Dan suddenly is shot dead while painting a portrait of Tania. Tania commissioned the painting as a surprise for Clive.
It is from these entwined, tangled and, at times a bit disheveled relationships comes a from time to time, baffling narrative filled with longing, hugger-mugger, pledges completed and others severed, and at times even a bit of manic dependence. The police endeavor to disentangle the mystery, and discover who, how and why Dan has been shot only to find themselves powerless to do much with the evidence at hand.
The one bright spot for Gilda and Dora in the midst of this emotional drama ensuing from the dysfunctional, twisted upbringing of Gilda and Clive, as they try understand and remove themselves from their unsettled past; is the birth of Dora’s baby Sophie.
In her well penned narrative, Guilt, Emma Kaufman has fashioned a slice of life type drama jam-packed with engaging circumstances, entertaining players and interesting life experience. The anxiety Dora feels in her connection with her mother is one many readers will recognize completely. The dreadful little family secret theme is one many have experienced to one extent or another. The reader is drawn into the narrative from the beginning when Dora seduces Mom’s male friend. It is only later that we appreciate how momentous this action has been.
Kaufman presents her characters as fully established humans filled with life, anguish, longing for contentment and many of the very fragilities, infirmities and warts as beset us all.
Guilt seizes and embraces the reader’s consideration through Kaufman’s keenly honed attention to detail. Kaufman fashions a drapery of highlights, resonances, aromas and spirits as the reader is motivated along to the predictable conclusion.
Not for everyone. Those who are looking for a brisk little bit of lather are not so likely to relish this compelling work. On the other hand Guilt is a dandy read for those who like a bit of plotting and deeper meaning in their reading.
A persuasive psychodrama outlining the prosperities of siblings Gilda and Clive, and their efforts to distance themselves from a less than stellar past; Guilt is a spine tingler of a narrative of assassination, disorder and emotional release.
Analyst, Dr. Gerber, observes casually as the performance unfolds. For him, the players are not human, they are degraded, providing him only case studies in psychopathology.
Welcome to my hobby.