Van has finished reading…A Five Year Sentence by Bernice Rubens

23 Oct

‘Miss Hawkins looked at her watch. It was two-thirty. If everything went according to schedule, she could safely reckon to be dead by six.

As opening lines go, this one is a forged-steel fish hook. It raises so many questions. You might assume many things from it, but are those assumptions you make going to prove apposite, or opposite? There’s a sturdy thread of duality running through this book that I even found extending to my responses to Miss Hawkins. Should I feel sorry for her? Pity her? At points I’ll confess to both, along with irritated, depressed, amused by her, rooting for her and even protective towards her.  This is partly due to the sense of isolation Bernice Rubens engenders, but is more to do with her exploration of bondage and servitude. How strange it is that we can find comfort in the ties that bind us, and even feel a sense of liberation in their hold. To some, freedom is simply a bigger cage.

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One Response to “Van has finished reading…A Five Year Sentence by Bernice Rubens”

  1. Jackie Buxton 27/11/2013 at 4:25 pm #

    That’s a great review – I am intrigued. And I agree, killer first line. Poising over the purchase button. My To be Read pile is towering at the moment and yet that first line has got me…

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