I Sent A Letter To My Love by Bernice Rubens
“All her life, Amy Evans has struggled against that unkind gift of fate – ugliness. A squat nose stubbed like a plasticine afterthought on her face, a chin too long and eyes straining to meet each other, form a sad picture that dooms Amy to a life of solitude and lovelessness. Now in her fifties, Amy lives alone with her crippled brother, both prisoners of the hopes and aspirations of their youth. Then Amy makes a final bid for happiness, a last ditch attempt to meet someone she can love . who might love her. Suddenly her life takes on dizzying new dimensions as she explores untrodden paths of sexual awareness in an all-or-nothing gamble for dangerous and delicious success. “
[Apparently they've adapted this into a French movie and quite a few live plays...]
I REALLY enjoyed this book! The style and mood of this work is playful, intense, creative and enticing. and dark, but not a depressing dark, maybe sinister is the better word here. Just one of these feelings where you wonder ‘uh oh. This isn’t going to end well!’ But you HAVE to keep reading to find out! It doesn’t end as bad as I imagined… But on the other hand, it isn’t what I’d call a happy ending, either.
Question: do you enjoy books that actually stir your imagination beyond where the author intends to take you?!
Amy is not the favored child growing up. We only get a quick chapter, a short glimpse into Amy’s seventh year, but we are easily persuaded of how the early years have formed her into a middle-aged woman who has had sad experiences form her life.
We are then taken into this adult life where her parents are gone and she is the caretaker of her brother who has lived much longer than anyone ever expected.
“There’s good you are to me, Amy,” he says.
Amy starts to fear the next phase – WHAT will become of her sad little life when he dies and leaves her all alone?! So she takes out a personal ad in the newspaper. Oh my.
FOUR STARS FOURhhhhhhhhhh
[For my Novella Challenge. 197 pages. Rubens was the Man Booker Prize Winner for Fiction in 1970. This book was published in 1978.]