The Elected Member

The Elected Member

Bernice Rubens

Norman is the clever one of a close-knit Jewish family in the East End of London. Infant prodigy; brilliant barrister; the apple of his parents’ eyes… until at forty-one he becomes a drug addict, confined to his bedroom, at the mercy of his hallucinations and paranoia.

For Norman, his committal to a mental hospital represents the ultimate act of betrayal. For Rabbi Zweck, Norman’s father, his son’s deterioration is a bitter reminder of his own guilt and failure. 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.

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The Elected Member - In the press

The opening chapter of The Elected Member is available on Haaretz

The Elected Member - Reviews

“The novel moves from intense emotion to humour and pathos to the frightening realisation that those who are surrounded by the insane quickly become insane themselves. Read it.”


“The writing sparkles and flickers and blazes.”

Jewish Chronicle

“Splendidly sane, compassionate and often grotesquely funny.”

Daily Telegraph

“She has a large compassion, and an intelligence which makes her compulsively readable.”

New Statesman