Posted in reviews

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’.

Posted in reviews

And Then I’m Gone: A Walk With Thoreau 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.

One of the most thought provoking memoirs in recent years challenges readers to examine not only the world around them but how they are living their lives in author Mathias B. Freese’s novel And Then I Am Gone: A Walk With Thoreau. Here’s the full synopsis:

And Then I Am Gone: A Walk with Thoreau tells the story of a New York City man who becomes an Alabama man. Despite his radical migration to simpler living and a late-life marriage to a saint of sorts, his persistent pet anxieties and unanswerable questions follow him. Mathias Freese wants his retreat from the societal “it” to be a brave safari for the self rather than cowardly avoidance, so who better to guide him but Henry David Thoreau, the self-aware philosopher who retreated to Walden Pond “to live deliberately” and cease “the hurry and waste of life”? In this memoir, Freese wishes to share how and why he came to Harvest, Alabama (both literally and figuratively), to impart his existential impressions and concerns, and to leave his mark before he is gone.

 

This was one of the most unique and creative memoirs I’ve read in recent years. The story of the author’s journey in his later years in life allow us as readers to take the time to appreciate not only our own lives, but challenges us to think critically and take the time to find meaning in our lives. It does a marvelous job of using past life experiences, history, humor and classic pop culture references to contemplate the current state of our world. From the rise of Donald Trump as the United States President and what it says about the mentality of the nation as a whole to the hours spent on subjects like religion and life views that end up dividing us when there’s no need for it, this book is a perfect read for anyone looking to find meaning and purpose.

Written almost like a diary entry or an actual conversation between the author and the philospher Henry David Thoreau himself, this story exudes insight, psychology and honesty. It shows the power of hope in tumultous times, while also showing the history of the world and the threat of being doomed to repeat it in our modern times. It’s as much a reflection on our society as it is on himself, and despite the title’s ominous overtones, this story is not one of loss and hopelessness but one of learning from our own pasts and finding the will to reflect on our lives and come to terms with it. It’s a story of love, loss and life itself, and deserves to be read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to pick up your copies of And Then I Am Gone: A Walk With Thoreau by Mathias B. Freese today!

Rating: 10/10

 

About the Author

Mathias B. Freese is a writer, teacher, and psychotherapist who has authored six books. His I Truly Lament: Working Through the Holocaust won the Beverly Hills Book Awards and the Reader’s Favorite Book Award, and it 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.