Nina’s Memento Mori by Mathias B. Freese Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

An author puts his life into perspective through the lens of his late wife as he deals with the grief of her passing in author Mathias B. Freese’s “Nina’s Memento Mori”. 

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The Synopsis

Near the end of Nabokov’s Lolita, Humbert makes an honest admission: “[A]nd it struck me…that I simply did not know a thing about my darling’s mind.” That line sums up the isolate game of memorializing a deceased loved one, which is the basic tension in Nina’s Memento Mori, an elegy to Mathias Freese’s lost wife. The profound responsibility of answering the question “Who was Nina?” is left to the lone memoirist:

I can say or write anything I want about her…There is much writerly power in that. I am the executor of her probate in all things now. She is mine now in ways she could not be when alive. I am the steward of her memory.

Freese ends up analyzing himself, putting the “me” in “memento” and the “i” in “mori,” thanks to ever-giving Nina posthumously providing a therapeutic mirror or “Rosebud,” which Freese appropriates from Citizen Kane. But Freese mourns more over the burden of existence than over its loss. Appropriately, for Kane is not about the symbolic sled as much as it’s about the cumulative snow that buries it.

The Review

Once again Mathias beautifully illustrates the literary genius that he is while also delving into one of the most difficult concepts of life as a whole, and that is the loss of a loved one. The author has crafted a beautiful, tragic and heartfelt dedication to his late wife, not only showcasing her own life but viewing himself through her eyes. 

Touching on the stages grief takes us all through, from the regrets of things not said or done to the memories that keep our loved ones in our hearts and more, the author has shown that memories are one of the many ways that we as people honor and keep the life of those who are no longer here alive. 

The Verdict

A must-read book filled with beautifully artistic writing and an emotional journey many of us can identify with, “Nina’s Memento Mori” by Mathias B. Freese is a one of a kind dedicated to the author’s late wife. The book’s emotional core and the author’s feelings for his late wife are felt throughout, and his honest and no-holds-bar approach to the subject makes for an honest and gripping look into the life of both the author and his late wife. A very identifiable read, be sure to grab your copies today! 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

MATHIAS B. FREESE is a writer, teacher, and psychotherapist who has authored eight books. After his first novel, ‘The i Tetralogy’ on the Holocaust, his second work, ‘I Truly Lament: Working Through the Holocaust’, won the Beverly Hills Book Award, Reader’s Favorite Book Award, and was a finalist in the Indie Excellence Book Awards, the Paris Book Festival, and the Amsterdam Book Festival. In 2016 ‘Tesserae: A Memoir of Two Summers’, his first memoir, received seven awards. The following year his second memoir appeared, ‘And Then I Am Gone’.

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