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Customer Review

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a haunting book, a sense of place, a sense of time, 5 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: My Policeman (Hardcover)
A compelling read, devoured in one sitting. Largely set in the late 1950s and with a shy but aware young woman as the central character, there are echoes of Shelagh Delaney's `A Taste of Honey'. However in place of the latter's kitchen-sink Northern realism and friendship with a sensitive gay design student we have an evocative period Brighton and Marion's best friend's god-like brother who swims in the sea every morning. Throughout the novel I was struck by how authentic it felt. There are accurate descriptions of sunbathing on the concrete of the long-gone Black Rock Lido and of characters in the seaside resort's gay demi-monde. No surprise then to read on the final page how indebted Bethan Roberts is to Brighton Ourstory's `Daring Hearts: Lesbian and Gay Lives in 50s and 60s Brighton', long overdue for a reprint. The triangular relationship at the heart of the book is believable too, echoing the relationships E. M. Forster and J.R. Ackerley had with their policemen. There is much pleasure to be had in this fine book. Yet there is also a pervading sadness and a sense of anger at lives destroyed by the post-war witch hunts of gay men. A cleverly-constructed and moving story that could make an excellent film. Highly recommended.
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Location: Sussex, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 667,813