By Bernice Rubens Published by Eyre & Spottiswoode Norman is the clever one of a close-knit Jewish family in the East End of London. Infant prodigy; brilliant. Despite the often grim subject matter of her books, Bernice Rubens wrote Her best-known novel, The Elected Member, explored loneliness. The Elected Member is a Booker Prize-winning novel by Welsh writer Bernice Rubens. Plot[edit]. The novel’s main character is Norman Zweck, who is addicted .

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The Elected Member was purchased by me after reading another review on goodreads. Bernlce first novel, Set On Edgewhich explored the destructive potency of parental expectation, was a eubens success, and, reassured, she pursued the Jewish family theme in Madame Sousatzka which tells of an infant prodigy, taken up by a slightly mad but tremendously talented piano teacher, Madame Sousatzka, whom he eventually leaves behind.

But the goofy artwork belied an intense novel with surprising emotional depth.

The Elected Member by Bernice Rubens

Finally, the depiction of the old Jewish East End, and a way of life that Rubens emphasises was already disappearing as she wrote the book is fascinating in social history.

Feb 19, Tonymess rated it it was amazing.

I can see why bernicf was a booker prize winner I really enjoyed it! Do you think that if the novel was told in a more traditional way instead of stories and flashbacks beginning with the Rabbi’s move to London, his marriage and the family’s drama, and ending with Rabbi Zweck’s passing, you would have had a wlected idea of the family? Revealing the past incidents which contributed to the situation from time to time, the whole story is n The Elected Member is a short and powerful novel.


I would bernce to take an opportunity to congratulate you for all your efforts in creating such an insightful and informative Group Book Review Circle It is surely a great platform to gather and learn more about like-minded people.

A wedding invitation arrives in the post: A very well written tale of a dysfunctional family written long before such tales became fashionable. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. This is the second winner of the Man Booker Prize, and it was a much easier read than the first. Perhaps one of the most beautifully written, thematically profound novels I’ve ever read.

Yet they were redeemed by her acute psychological insights, mordant humour and her warmth of feeling for her characters.

Jun 28, Val rated it really liked it Shelves: The book may not make you elefted what happens to the people in it, but you do want to see what happens in the book.

Book: The Elected Member

The narrative begins in the bernicee of Norton’s madness and proceeds with many flashbacks. The plot follows the demise of the Zweck family, an orthodox Jewish family living in London. Why did their beloved au pair flee that day? A tautly plotted mystery of dark family secrets, perfect for fans of Kate Morton.

With murder, suicide, adultery and intrigue of every kind taking place in an atmosphere ranging from the borders of farce to the borders of melodrama, her plots were often absurdly over the top. Man Booker prize Fiction blogposts. The steadily and expertly built tension of Norman and his family’s struggle diffuses into a melodramatic and rather silly conclusion.


To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Our Books See all Books. His son, Norman, is ailing from a drug addiction that brings on vivid hallucinations of silver fish.

Review: The Elected Member, by Bernice Rubens – Musings

I found the Rabbi an incredibly endearing character. She was shortlisted for the same prize again in for A Five Year Sentence. There are also some references to Jewish mythology which need follow up reading.

Was the book worth your time? To read electev rest of my review visit http: Some Yiddish words are used throughout the narrative which require the reader to do some fhe on their meanings and cultural connotations. Only Bella, the unmarried sister, still in her childhood white ankle socks, can reach across the abyss of pain to bring father and son the elusive peace which they both desperately crave.

The nature of Norman’s illness made for an interesting read unlike the frustrations of trying to sort out Townrow’s mumbo-jumbo!