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A Mad Desire to Dance by Elie Wiesel


Elie Wiesel is one of my mom's favorite authors, so I can't read anything by him without thinking about her. I also have a tendency to judge everything I ready by him against his The Fifth Son, which I love.

A Mad Desire to Dance isn't The Fifth Son, but I enjoyed the book until the ending. Am I on a streak of endings that I don't like? Not sure, but I felt like this was a tacked on, almost "happily ever after" ending, which I wasn't expecting from Wiesel.

Doriel survived the Holocaust and World War II as a child, although other close family members didn't survive, before losing his Resistance-fighter mother and his father in a car crash soon after the end of the war. Now living in New York, Doriel becomes deeply involved in studying Judaism. He soon seeks the assistance of psychoanalyst Therese Goldschmidt because he believes he is possessed by a dybbuk (the soul of a dead person who inhabits a living person and controls his/her behavior).
This is, above all, the story of a young man trying to find his way and to understand the lives of his parents and their impact on him. Not so very unusual.

p. 91: "You're annoyed, Doctor, disappointed maybe; I can guess as much from your silences--they crop up intermittently. You listen to me; that's natural--you have no choice; it's your job. However, you feel I don't open up enough: I'm hiding things that you might need in order to figure me out, analyze me, and even cure me. Am I mistaken, Doctor?"

My overall personal rating of A Mad Desire to Dance is a B+.

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