If you’ve ever wished for the ability to read minds, you need to read Kate Jonuska’s Transference. It will unequivocally make you rethink that desire, all the while leaving you morbidly fascinated with the possibilities.
I make a habit of letting my authors know when I’ve started their book – for one thing, it keeps me focused on finishing it, and I figure it’s also nice to give them a heads up/note to say I haven’t forgotten them. When I messaged Kate after I was about 30% in, I told her I was both enthralled and horrified – and that’s pretty much my entire opinion of Transference in a nutshell.
I have to give Kate credit, because it takes a great writer to be able to craft an utterly despicable, repulsive character and not turn the reader away, but instead compel them to keep reading. Verbenk is awful – God, he’s so awful. And he’s pretty much awful for the whole book. (To be fair, Janet isn’t exactly a peach either.) Every so often, there’s a tiny glimmer of decency, and then BAM, he’s back to being a horrid human being. And yet…I liked him. Or, maybe I didn’t like him, but in a way I sympathized. How terribly difficult would it be to censor your thoughts every time you were around someone? How unnatural would that feel? How challenging….and how exciting?
Because in an odd way, the story is exciting. Verbenk and Janet are the most unlikely duo facing the most unlikely odds…but somehow, it works. It’s like a twisted superhero story, and it was absolutely delicious.
Paperback: 240 pages Published: August 2017 (self published) Source: Author Provided
Transference on Goodreads
Currently a finalist for the BookLife Prize, hosted by the indie arm of Publisher’s Weekly!
Professionally ruined, morally bankrupt and reflexively snarky, psychiatrist Derek Verbenk is a f*ck-up by even his own measure. Major errors in judgment have sentenced the once ambitious doctor to a career handing out prescriptions to rich housewives from his home office in Cherry Creek — until a superpowered new patient turns Verbenk’s life upside down and his soul inside out.
Romping through Denver, breaking through barriers of privacy, social isolation and even politics, Transference is an odd-couple quest toward redemption full of wicked humor and radical honesty.