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Summary

This bundle contains three volumes of the Still Life with Memories series, featuring the love story and adventures of Lenny and Natasha during WWII:

The Music of Us

In 1970, Lenny can no longer deny that his wife is undergoing a profound change. Despite her relatively young age, her mind succumbs to forgetfulness. Now, he goes as far back as the moment he met Natasha during WWII, when he was a wounded warrior and she a star, brilliant yet illusive. Natasha was a riddle to him then, and to this day, with all the changes she has gone through, she still is.

“Digging into the past, mining its moments, trying to piece them together this way and that, dusting off each memory of Natasha, of how we were, the highs and lows of the music of us, to find out where the problem may have started?”

To their son, Ben, that may seem like an exercise in futility. For Lenny, it is a necessary process of discovery, one that is as tormenting as it is delightful. He often wonders: Can we ever understand, truly understand each other - soldier and musician, man and woman, one heart and another? Will we ever again dance together to the same beat? Is there a point where we may still touch?

Dancing with Air

Fooling Nazi espionage may cost Lenny the trust of the girl who captured his heart. Will Natasha discover his secret D-Day reports, disguised as love letters to another woman? 

In these letters, Lenny gives the enemy misleading information about allied plans. Once Natasha arrives in London, he takes her for a ride on his Harley throughout England, from the White Cliffs of Dover to a village near an underground ammunition depot in Staffordshire. When he is wounded in a horrific explosion, she brings him back to safety, only to discover the other woman’s letter to him. Will love survive the test of war?

In the past Natasha wrote, with girlish infatuation, “He will be running his fingers down, all the way down to the small of my back, touching his lips to my ear, breathing his name, breathing mine. Here I am, dancing with air.” In years to come, she will begin to lose her memory, which will make Lenny see her as fragile. “I gather her gently into my arms, holding her like a breath.” But right now, she is at her peak. She is ready to take charge of the course of their story.

Marriage Before Death

After D-Day, her photograph appears on the "Most Wanted" Nazi propaganda posters. Who is the girl with the red beret? She reminds him of Natasha, but no, that cannot be. Why does Rochelle step into his life when he is lead by SS soldiers to the gallows? At the risk of being found out as a French Resistance fighter, what makes her propose marriage to a condemned man?

©2019 Uvi Poznansky (P)2019 Uvi Poznansky

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  • Jason
  • 30-08-19

Excellent addition to the series

Excellent character driven stories. Enjoyable and exhilarating. tragically heartbreaking but beautiful at the same time. The lengths we go for love is never defined and Lenny and Natasha prove this. The narration was excellent. Very moving and exciting. I requested a free copy of this audiobook and I am leaving a voluntary and honest review.

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  • Aaron P. Lazar
  • 18-03-19

A Delightful WWII Romantic Thriller!

Three reviews follow: Marriage Before Death Ms. Poznansky has done it again, but this time—and I don’t say this lightly—she has written my favorite book to date in her stable of literary gems. Marriage Before Death continues in the Still Life With Memories series, which paints stories of the lives of Lenny and Natasha Kaminsky. (Book 1: My Own Voice, Book 2: The White Piano, Book 3: The Music of Us, Book 4: Dancing with Air) In this story, Ms. Poznansky eloquently shifts from her previous genre of literary stories full of romance, to a wartime suspense story, still, however, continuing with the love story of our beloved couple. I have always adored Ms. Poznansky's evocative writing, but this time she whisked me into the era of WWII French Resistance Fighters in 1944. And what an adventure it was! I trembled in my virtual boots beside Lenny when he was captured by Nazi soldiers, “this close” to being executed. He stood in a line of captured soldiers and resistance fighters, waiting to be sent to one group or the other. One group would be immediately hung in the gallows that loomed nearby, the other would be used in some fashion to help the Nazi cause. The tension was riveting. I listened to the audiobook version of this fascinating story, told by the talented Mr. Don Warrick. His male character voices are outstanding, and his accents—whether it be British, French, German, Jewish, or American, the rendering is brilliant and on target. The female voices aren’t quite as effective, in my humble opinion, but honestly, one can’t fault a deep, stentorian narrator for not being able to completely sound like a woman. ;o) Thank you, Ms. Poznansky, for allowing us to continue to believe that America still produces great writers who judiciously craft each sentence, and who can tell a great story at the same time. - Highly recommended by Aaron Lazar, multi award-winning author. *** Dancing with Air Dancing with Air by Uvi Poznansky is a lyrical tour se force set in World War II in England. Poetic, evocative, and at times langorously delicious, the new audiobook version adds even more to the sense of "being there" along side the delightful characters who, by the way, span a series of novels over the course of their lifetimes. One of the lovely gifts embedded in this series is a collection of beautiful poems set to music to represent songs of the era. Mr. Warrick, the phenomenal narrator of this story, creates some memorable tunes with his amazing voice. Do yourself a favor and download this romantic adventure. Then sit back, push play, and let the beauty wash over you. Highly recommended for all book lovers! *** The Music of Us A Lyrical Gift to Readers When I write a book review, I don’t like to rehash the plot—that information is easily accessible in the book description. What I prefer is to share how the book made me feel, and what I valued between its covers. Uvi Poznansky is a literary tour de force in a contemporary age when the quality of writing often takes a back seat to the quick thrill, or to be more precise, the quick buck. She writes as she paints, with careful, vibrant strokes of amazing clarity and color. Whether you are a reader or writer, teacher or student, you owe it to yourself read her work. You will be transported to a world where life is examined from a poet’s point of view, where you live in vignettes so real that you can’t help but love and care for the characters. I have read all of Poznansky’s work, but this book resonated more deeply with me than all the previous titles, which I truly enjoyed. I suppose it is because I am an inveterate romantic. I ached for the young, “flashback” characters to come together. I shouted at them to wake up and smell the coffee when they missed opportunities to get together, and I reveled in the sweet endings when they finally connected. The atmosphere of the 1940s is beautifully portrayed, and on a secondary level only to the (mostly) unrequited love story, it was my next treasured experience while reading this book. I loved the sounds and sights of the era, the music, the cars, and the lifestyles so well depicted. It was a fascinating dip into the life of those dynamic times. If you are aching for a lyrical read, for something above and beyond the usual offerings in the field of fiction, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Uvi Poznansky’s The Music of Us. --Aaron Paul Lazar

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Profile Image for B. Roscoe
  • B. Roscoe
  • 23-09-20

Lenny & Natasha’s Epic Story Told In Flashbacks!

Lenny And Natasha’s Story Unfolds In Snippets From The Present And Flashbacks To WWII. The Notebook Fans May Like This Book! This Bundle includes books three, four, and five from the Still Life with Memories series, a five book series with a sixth brief book bite. The books are interconnected, spanning various periods of time from World War II through the 1970’s. Different characters within a family tell their stories, but the underlying story revolves around Lenny and Natasha. Each can be read as a stand-alone. Fans of The Notebook may enjoy this book, as some aspects are reminiscent of that story. From The Music of Us: Reads As A Stand-Alone In A Series Of Stories About Lenny And Natasha. A Flashback Takes The Couple Back To When They Met Shortly After Lenny’s Draft Into The Marines During World War II. Fans Of The Notebook May Enjoy This Book. This is the story of Lenny and Natasha. It opens and closes in 1970 when they are somewhat older. Natasha is forty-five, Lenny is probably about forty-seven. Lenny has become the caretaker of Natasha, whose memory has been slipping for some time. Lenny has had an affair, but he longs for Natasha to recognize him. She struggles to play the piano and has few lucid moments, and it weighs heavily on Lenny. They do not yet have a diagnosis for her condition. After attempting many tests and medications, he isn’t optimistic they will find a cure. Lenny longs for his teenage son Ben, who quit high school and bought a ticket to Italy, to return home to him. They have a complicated relationship, however. The bulk of the book is a flashback to the time when Lenny and Natasha met. In October of 1941, Lenny was recruited into the Marine Corps. The story covers his time at Camp Upton and then Camp Lejeune before he is shipped overseas and joins the London Detachment. He receives commando training in Achnacarry, Scotland before being shipped home to visit his ailing father. It is when he is at Camp Upton that he first sees Natasha, who performs nearby. They begin exchanging letters, and over time they become attached to one another. But temptation abounds on both sides of the ocean during the war, and relying on the postal system proves frustrating. The young couple faces early challenges, but the greatest challenge is the approval of Natasha’s mother. At just sixteen, Natasha relies upon her mother to manage her career as a brilliant young classical pianist. Lenny haphazardly decides upon a career as a writer, which does nothing to impress Mrs. Horowitz. Lenny and Natasha’s story is serious in tone. It is a reflection to their best days, and it is those memories that carry Lenny forward through the difficult challenges he faces nearly thirty years later. The war story is filled with details that take the reader back in time. It is nicely written. The plot is complex. The characters are unique and authentic. The story is written in first person in Lenny’s POV. I rate the book 4.5 stars. From Dancing with Air: Reads As A Stand-Alone In A Series Of Stories About Lenny And Natasha. The Flashback To World War II Is A Fascinating Tale Of Espionage With A Backdrop Of Romance! Fans Of The Notebook May Enjoy This Book. This is the story of Lenny and Natasha. It opens and closes when they are somewhat older. Lenny has become the caretaker of Natasha, whose memory has been slipping for some time. She has few lucid moments, and it weighs heavily on Lenny. They do not yet have a diagnosis for her condition. Lenny longs for his teenage son, who quit school and is travelling abroad, to return home to him. They have a complicated relationship, however. The bulk of the book is a flashback to a time before Lenny and Natasha marry. Lenny reflects back to a time when Natasha was at her peak. She was a successful Russian pianist, and he a would-be writer enlisted in the Marines in World War II. After taking time out to return to New York because of his father’s illness and death, Lenny is called back into service. He had spent time with Natasha while in New York, and the young couple was crazy about one another. Duty takes him to London, and love inspires Natasha to hazard a trip across the dangerous waters of the Atlantic and join a USO tour in England, bringing her to Lenny. Lenny’s talent has caused him to be recruited to join a secret mission to mislead the Germans. He has been tasked to write love letters with false information about the Allied forces in an effort meant to misdirect German intelligence, whose spy network had infiltrated the British postal service. With Natasha’s arrival, Lenny is ordered to find another woman to write letters to, as Natasha’s presence eliminates her as a credible recipient. His friend Ryan’s ex-girlfriend happened to have had eyes for Lenny back in New York, and though Lenny was devoted to Natasha, he could come up with no other option and was forced to begin a correspondence with Lana. The fact that he cannot divulge the truth to Natasha weighs heavily on his conscience, and the possibility of her discovering the letters has him living in fear. The war story is a fascinating tale of espionage with a backdrop of romance. It is nicely written. The plot is complex. The characters are unique and authentic. The story is written in first person in Lenny’s POV. I rate the book four stars. From Marriage before Death: Reads As A Stand-Alone In A Series Of Stories About Lenny And Natasha. The Flashback To D-Day With A Backdrop Of Romance Is A Fascinating Look Back At World War II. Fans Of The Notebook May Enjoy This Book. This is the story of Lenny and Natasha. It opens and closes in roughly 1979, when they are celebrating their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary. Based on information in other books, Lenny is fifty-six and Natasha is fifty-four. Lenny has become the caretaker of Natasha, whose memory has been slipping for some time and she had eventually been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She has few lucid moments, and it weighs heavily on Lenny. The bulk of the book is a flashback to a time before Lenny and Natasha marry. As revealed in Dancing with Air, book four, Lenny had been forced to keep secrets from her when he served as a Marine in London during World War II. Natasha, a concert pianist, had joined the USO to be near Lenny in war-torn London. Though it had been part of a covert mission, the secrets had caused a complication in their relationship. She finally left London, on good terms, to hazard an attempt at a transatlantic voyage home to New York. But as Lenny learned a few months later, Natasha had some secrets of her own. She had promised him to share some of the missing pieces of her story after the war, and the likelihood of that ever happening is slipping away. He cannot help but attempt once again to trigger her memory. Lenny recalls the events of June 6, 1944 when he stormed the beaches of Normandy, France with the allied forces on D-Day. It was just a few months since Natasha had left London, and she was always on his mind. Survival on that day was only the beginning of the danger he would face. But soon he had not only himself to worry about, as the picture of a most-wanted French Resistance fighter known as Rochelle is plastered everywhere, and she happens to look very much like Lenny’s own Natasha. For this book, there appear to be some inconsistencies with times and dates across the series, which are a bit of a chore to piece together and may cause some readers to pause. *Spoilers* It would make more sense if this story took place during an earlier wedding anniversary for Lenny and Natasha. Nevertheless, there is nothing that anchors this story to this particular time, so it is easy to look past that. For those attempting to follow, I have reconstructed dates in the series below. Some are specifically stated, others are calculated based upon new information. This excludes any info given in The White Piano. • Natasha: born 1925. • Lenny: born 1923. • They meet in 1941 (she is 16, he is 18). • They marry: 1945 (he is 22, she is 20). • They have Ben five years later in 1950 (he is 27, she is 25). • Natasha shows her first symptoms in 1964 (she is 39, Lenny is 41, Ben is 14). • Natasha divorces Lenny after learning of his single indiscretion in 1967 (she is 42). • Ben drops out of high school and leaves home to travel abroad in 1967 (he is 17). • *The Music of Us* takes place in 1970 and the couple is together (Natasha is 45; Lenny 47). • Natasha is diagnosed in 1971 (she is 46). • *Dancing with Air* takes place sometime after 1970 and the couple is together. • **Natasha probably goes to live at Sunrise Assisted Living in 1972 (when she is 47), five years after Lenny’s indiscretion and the divorce. That means that Dancing with Air and Marriage before Death should take place by this time, since Natasha lives at home in those books. • *My Own Voice* should take place in 1977, when Ben is 27 and Anita is 26 or 27 (Lenny is 54). • **Marriage before Death** takes place in 1980 and the couple is together (35th wedding anniversary; Natasha is 55, Lenny is 57). This makes Ben 30, which doesn’t match up with the story since he returned home at twenty-seven and here his is still overseas. It makes more sense for this story to take place in 1972 just before Natasha goes into assisted living and the couple’s 27th anniversary. The D-Day story with a backdrop of romance is a fascinating look back at World War II. It is well-written. The story takes the reader back in time; the details feel authentic and immerse the reader in a tumultuous time in France, where allegiances were in doubt and different forces could be happened upon around any corner. The plot is somewhat complex. The characters are unique and authentic. The story is written in first person in Lenny’s POV. I rate the book four stars. As for the Audio: it is well-performed and consistent with the book. I received a copy of this audiobook and am voluntarily leaving a review.