Daily Archives: May 24, 2012

** By Blood by Ellen Ullman

By Blood starts with a wonderful premise: a mysteriously disgraced professor rents a small office to write a masterpiece but instead discovers that he can hear perfectly the consultations of the psychotherapist next door and gets taken into the story of a particular patient, to the point that he feels compelled to investigate how she was adopted, and eventually becomes complicit in her search for her birth mother. The compulsive eavesdropping is rendered flawlessly. Unfortunately, the historical context of the adoption (during World War II) is told ploddingly and the details are a little too outlandish to believe.

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