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A Private Sorcery

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Saul Dubinsky, a sensitive, shy psychiatrist, was living a dual life. Following the attempted suicide of one of his patients, the dedicated young doctor turned to drugs. When he's arrested on criminal charges, his wife and his father are left to figure out how things went so wrong and why they were blind to the pain of the man they both love.
Saul's emotionally remote wife, Rena, confronts the failures of their marriage and, for the first time, faces her shame about her fatherless, hardscrabble past. Saul's father, Leonard, who'd long ago given up practicing psychiatry, blames himself for his son's breakdown. He finds that he can no longer escape the memory of the troubled patient who changed the course of his own career nor deny his complicity in his wife's illness. As Rena and Leonard each grapple with the impact of Saul's arrest, they are drawn closer together-and a delicate transformation begins to occur in each of them.

This is an immensely satisfying and ultimately triumphant story abouat the precarious balance within a family and about the unconscious ways in which we affect the lives of those we love most. Full of wisdom and insight, A PRIVATE SORCERY marks the debut of a talented writer.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 14, 2002 – Gornick's debut starts with a bang when psychiatrist Saul Dubinsky is arrested for stealing drugs from the hospital where he works to support his addiction. What follows, however, is an erratic, somewhat listless exploration of the family and marital dynamics that landed the doctor in dire straits. Most of the book focuses on Dubinsky's wife, Rena, and his brother, Leonard, who scramble to find a lawyer for Saul. Despite their efforts, Saul is sentenced to four years when the state adds a manslaughter charge after the pharmacist who was held up miscarries following the crime. Rena tries to come to grips with her guilt for introducing Saul to a friend who fostered his addiction. After several difficult prison visits, she finally ends up asking Saul for a divorce, setting up an implausible, even bizarre resolution to their relationship. The final chapters find Rena and Leonard off to Guatemala, trying to track down the kidnapped child of Saul's mentor a tangential subplot that adds nothing to the story. Gornick's writing is clean and luminous, and she offers some thoughtful, compelling observations about the family's troubles, but excess background detail frequently bogs down the plot, and Rena is a sketchy and unconvincing character, despite the effort put into her development. Gornick is a gifted prose stylist, but this is an uneven and unfocused first novel.Literary Guild selection; 5-city author tour.
A Private Sorcery
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Oct 14, 2002
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books
  • Seller: Workman Publishing Co., Inc.
  • Print Length: 384 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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