Bernice Rubens explores what happens to a respectable, close-knit Jewish family when the apple of his parents’ eyes becomes a middle-aged drug addict.

Norman was always ‘the clever one’. But in his early 40s, the infant prodigy turned brilliant barrister becomes a drug addict, confined to his bedroom at the mercy of his hallucinations. For Norman, his committal to a mental hospital represents the ultimate betrayal. For Rabbi Zweck, his son’s deterioration is a bitter reminder of his own guilt and failure. Only Bella, the unmarried sister, can bridge the abyss of pain to bring father and son the peace they both so desperately crave.

The Booker Prize 1970
Published by
Eyre & Spottiswoode
Publication date
Bernice Rubens

Bernice Rubens

About the Author

Bernice Rubens was born in Cardiff. Her fourth novel, The Elected Member, won the 1970 Booker Prize.
More about Bernice Rubens

Other nominated books by Bernice Rubens

A Five-Year Sentence