The Crowded Bed, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (1 rating)

Description

Joe Fortune, a Jewish GP, has been married to Anna, his Aryan beauty, for twenty years, in a relationship that is sustained with great passion and happiness.

But in the shadows of their lives, dark secrets are hidden.

Joe has long nurtured a desire to murder Gordon, Anna's father; a motive born of past events and involving revenge, mutual hatred, and Gordon's deep prejudice for Joe's Judaism. 'If you wrong us, shall we not seek revenge?' Anna too is hiding deep, painful secrets.

In a highly charged expose, the reader is led back and forth over the changing face of the last half century to discover love, lies, passion, religion, cruelty and violence.

While the powerful Joe is revealed as angry and resentful, Anna's quiet dignity discloses her own extraordinary and shocking revelations.

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The term that kept percolating in my mind as I read this novel was "Victorian Modern." There was an element in the prose that carried more than a hint of Victorian yet the novel begins in 2006 and uses interwoven flashbacks to tell the love story of Joe Fortune and Anna Moore, which begins with the act of Joe administering a fatal dose of some poison to his father-in-law as he sleeps. From there present-day story takes place over the preceding four consecutive days that give the immediate motive for Joe's action while the back stories of both Joe and Anna are packed in between.As a reader, I found Joe's story both gritty and realistic. Some of his observations on family and society are quite humorous. However, I found Anna's story less believable. The revelations of her childhood and earlier marriage to Oliver Frockton toward the end of the book seemed inconsistent with her behavior later. i also found the perfection of Joe's adult son, Daniel, from an earlier violent, unloving marriage unbelievable as well. It was almost as if Anna and Daniel were created more to fulfill the author's wish to have them come through such wrenching childhoods undamaged than to create real people whose personalities and souls would have left them less than angelic.I did enjoy the book. There are scenes from this story I will not forget. It's not a book for everyone but if you're looking for something off the beaten path then give "The Crowded Bed" a chance.