Tuesday, 15 April 2014

My Policeman

author: Bethan Roberts
published: 2012

plot: It is in 1950s' Brighton that Marion first catches sight of Tom. He teaches her to swim in the shadow of the pier and Marion is smitten—determined her love will be enough for them both. A few years later in Brighton Museum Patrick meets Tom. Patrick is besotted with Tom and opens his eyes to a glamorous, sophisticated new world. Tom is their policeman, and in this age it is safer for him to marry Marion. The two lovers must share him, until one of them breaks and three lives are destroyed...

what I liked: It´s Brighton! It´s a man in uniform! It´s pretty frocks and kitten heels! But underneath those shallow considerations of mine I found the triangular love story very well constructed - all characters seemed credible although not equally likeable. I have to confess that despite being one that shouts "equal rights" whenever I get the chance I never really thought about what life looked like for gay people in the 50s and this book opened my eyes.

what I didn´t like: I cannot put my finger down on it exactly but somehow the language seemed a bit constructed, trying a bit too hard...I guess with a slightly more poetic style the story could have made it from very good to fantastic. But it´s a minor flaw really.

verdict: This book has made me aware that nowadays gay capital Brighton wasn´t always the place to be. I found the story grippping although lacking any dramatic climaxes and could understand pretty much every portrayed perspective - realising at the end that this is the depiction of three lives being wasted left me very sad and moved...won´t forget it too quickly and hope it will be made into a film!

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