Beryl Bainbridge – Watson’s Apology: A Novel

57. Watson’s Apology: A Novel by Beryl Bainbridge (1985)
Length: 222 pages
Genre: True Crime
Started: 25 May 2014
Finished: 31 May 2014
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 16 May 2014
Why do I have it? I like true crime and Beryl Bainbridge is a new author for me.

In 1844 a middle-aged Irish spinster by the name of Anne Armstrong, gets the unexpected chance to escape her life of genteel poverty. An English schoolmaster, the Reverend John Selby Watson, a man whom she met briefly more than seven years before, and whom Anne has long since forgotten, appears suddenly with a proposal. While the Reverend Watson is certainly no Prince Charming, and his home is in no way a castle, life with him is seemingly so much more preferable to Anne’s current living situation – that she accepts John’s proposal. Thus begins a marriage that should never have been – where frustrations pile upon disillusionments until everything collapses in hatred and bloody violence.

For, after nearly thirty years of marriage, the quiet, staid, rather ordinary Reverend Watson bludgeons his wife to death one Sunday after church. The seemingly customary history of the Watsons’ unhappy marriage unfolds until it culminates in a sudden brutal act and a headline-grabbing trial. Staying as true to the documented facts of this historical case as she does to the workings of her singular imagination, Ms. Bainbridge artfully reveals what history withholds: the motives, the feelings, and the insanity that drive the Watsons to their domestic tragedy.

I did enjoy reading this book; although it seemed to me to be a little disjointed in places. Perhaps this was the impression that the author wanted to give the reader, I’m not really sure. However, I found this story to be incredibly sad – and although I usually enjoy reading tear-jerking stories – I think that the knowledge that this book was based on an actual murder case, was something that made this story almost too sad for me to read. I just felt incredibly sorry for all the characters involved, and the grinding hopelessness of the Watsons situation, as well as the historical period itself, really came through to me. I give Watson’s Apology: A Novel by Beryl Bainbridge a definite A!

A! – (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

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