by Sukey HowardJune, 2000
Vienna, 1910 This is Freud's Vienna and the murdered girl at the center of Jody Shields's stylish, startling first novel, The Fig Eater is none other than Freud's famous Dora. But Siggie isn't here himself, and the case is being officially investigated by the well-known Police Inspector and, unbeknownst to him, by his beautiful Hungarian wife, Erszebet. Enlisting the aid of a young English governess, and relying on intuition bolstered by a strong grounding in Gypsy lore, Erszebet pursues a fascinating course that her rigorously trained husband could never take. Shields's dazzling detail gives turn-of-the-century Vienna an extraordinary reality. Patricia Kilgarriff's performance of this 12-hour, unabridged audio is top-notch, her elegant English accent seems absolutely appropriate and her ease with the liberal sprinkling of German and Hungarian phrases, admirable.