The Elected Member

‘Norman, forgive me,’ he said. ‘Forgive. Is all my fault.’ He opened his eyes again and he saw what he was leaving. Two sad unmarried daughters, one with her earnest scheitel, and in another room, his broken son. ‘I failed,’ he muttered. ‘Forgive.’

I’m on book two of my challenge to read each of the 49 (so far) Man Booker Prize winners. I’m attempting them in order, starting with PH Newby’s Something to Answer For, and recently completing Bernice Ruben’s The Elected Member.

If the first book was a disappointment (and it was), then this second one was a much more enjoyable read.

Reminding me in parts of a John Irving book (broken families, incestuous relationships) and Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (madness, mental institution), The Elected Member is the story of the once brilliant lawyer Norman Kweck, and his drug-addled downfall. Of course, his fall from glory doesn’t just affect him, and throughout we learn of the damage he has inflicted upon his mother, father and sisters.

I would definitely recommend this one, even if it gets a wee bit too religious for my tastes towards the end.

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