Bernice Rubens’ intriguing novel about a factory worker who is forced to change her drastic retirement plan when she receives a diary as a gift.

Rubens pulls no punches with her dramatic opening: ‘Miss Hawkins looked at her watch. It was 2.30. If everything went to plan, she would be dead by six o’clock.’ But things don’t go to plan. A five-year diary, which she receives as a retirement gift, compels the dutiful Miss Hawkins to cancel her carefully prepared suicide. Having been sentenced to live, she then embarks on a mission to taste life’s secret pleasures.

The Booker Prize 1978
Published by
W.H. Allen
Publication date
Bernice Rubens

Bernice Rubens

About the Author

Bernice Rubens became the first woman (and to date the only Welsh novelist) to win the Booker Prize when she triumphed in its second year, 1970, with The Elected Member.
More about Bernice Rubens

Other nominated books by Bernice Rubens

The Elected Member
Prize winner