I hope you are all having a wonderful June so far.
Today is a book review of one of the first books on my June TBR but one I have read on several occasions. For multiple different reasons as you will read about, I have some serious emotional attachments to this book. I could talk it forever… In fact I used it as a case study for my Masters dissertation.
Obviously we are talking about My Policeman by Bethan Roberts… Strap yourselves in for a book review.
From the moment Marion first lays eyes on Tom – her best friend’s big brother, broad, blond, blue-eyed – she is smitten. And when he comes home from National Service to be a policeman, Marion, a newly qualified teacher, is determined to win him. Unable to acknowledge the signs that something is amiss, she plunges into marriage, sure that her love is enough for both of them…
But Tom has another life, another equally overpowering claim on his affections. Patrick, a curator at the Brighton Museum, is also besotted with his policeman, and opens Tom’s eyes to a world previously unknown to him. But in an age when those of ‘minority status’ were condemned by society and the law, it is safer for this policeman to marry his teacher. The two lovers must share him, until one of them breaks and three lives are destroyed.
Unfolding through the dual narratives of Marion and Patrick, both writing about the man at the centre of their lives, this beautifully-told, painful, tragic story is revealed.It is a tale of wasted years, misguided love and thwarted hope, of how at a time when the country was on the verge of change so much was still impossible.
If you have been around for a while you will know My Policeman is one of my favourite books, however I joined Heidi and Daisy (Fellow Harries and all round fabulous women who I hold a lot of love for) for a buddy read of this back in May and I forgot how incredible the story is.
One of my favourite things about this story is that it is written in multiple points of view. Marion and Patrick both have beautiful ways of telling what really is a heart wrenching story, leaving me fully attached and emotional as hell.
Marions story is written in a letter format almost written for Patrick to read. This in many ways feels raw and like I shouldn’t be reading her thoughts and all the many different emotions this woman feels. However Patricks points of view makes it as though we are reading his diary/inner thoughts, darkest secrets and we are imposing on things that Marion should not know about.
The fact it is set in Brighton for most of the book and for a little while Brighton was my home made me feel more connected to the scenes and the descriptions throughout.
I would be lying if I did not tell you that I fell in love with the characters more this time round reading than the first. I am almost positive that this book will be one I will be rereading forever. It is a stunningly beautiful story of love, heartbreak, friendship, politics and everything in between.
Bethan I salute you for writing one of the most stunningly beautiful novels that I have ever read.
I thought the author did an amazing job of talking about themes that hit hard and yet left the most beautiful story behind. It’s hard not to want to get to know more about the characters.
It also happens to be a fitting book for Pride Month, everyone should be able to love openly and honestly and sometimes it is complicated.
Tissues will be needed if you reading this one.
Added Extra notes:
Back in May of 2021 I got to see snippets of My Policeman being filmed in Brighton and I have said it over and over again but I do not think they could have picked a better cast for this film and their characters. I am so excited for the movie.
I owe some of my most incredible friendships to Harry Styles and the set of My Policeman. Truly grateful for the incredible little community it has created. Not only did I make some incredible friends on set but I made friends through Harry that I then got to read the book and I know they love it.
Have you read My Policeman?