Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Book Review: 'Not Her Fault' by Rosalind Minett

British author Rosalind Minett began her career in the arts as a dancer - in RADA (for those outside the UK, The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) - but switched directions when she studied psychology at Birmingham, Sussex and Exeter universities and became a Psychologist. This combination of experience offers her the ability to crawl inside the psyches of her characters while creating a proscenium arch setting in intricate details for her chosen subject - whether writing comedy, historically influenced novels or crime tales - before enjoying a career as a chartered psychologist. She is successfully able to wear the twin masks of comedy/tragedy and still maintain a rather phenomenal sense of finding the humor in the worst of situations and the compensatory dark side of the best of incidents. She is a hell of a fine writer!

Those familiar with Rosalind’s art will still be shocked with the manner in which she introduces this short story – ‘On my thirty-third birthday, the Sunday newspaper published a recap of the Bulger case. It was all over the front page. I ran to the nearest bathroom to be sick. Twenty years after it all, wasn’t there ever to be an end to this? I’d believed years ago that I was over things, that I needn’t think about them a moment more. I was eleven when the event figured on the television and all over the newspapers. ITV news had just stated that the missing toddler had been killed by children who were only ten when my parents quickly turned the TV off. They put the next day’s paper in the bin so that I wouldn’t read the awful things the two boys had done.’

And so we meet Anna, and eventually Sandrette and the interaction between them is the crux of the story – a tale of repression of guilt, of bullying, of murder – but to relate much more than that would be a spoiler. ‘Children weren’t born evil. Evil was done to them first. Afterwards they started with some small mean thing, and it got worse with each incident.’

Reading Rosalind Minett’s books is a journey inside minds and what those mind elect to recall and to repress. It is a whoppingly fine story. Grady Harp, December 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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