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The Brimstone Wedding (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 30. Januar 1997
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Jenny's marriage is loveless, and she is having an affair. She works at an old people's home, where she is especially fond of Stella, a woman dying of cancer - whose own secrets parallel Jenny's - with the difference that she may have been involved in murdering her lover's husband.
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Barbara Vine was the pen-name of Ruth Rendell, and Viking published all of her books under that name.
Rendell was an exceptional crime writer, with worldwide sales of approximately 20 million copies, and regular Sunday Times bestsellers.
Rendell won numerous awards, including the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for 1976's best crime novel with A Demon in My View, a Gold Dagger award for Live Flesh in 1986, and the Sunday Times Literary Award in 1990. In 2013 she was awarded the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for sustained excellence in crime writing. In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer.
Ruth Rendell died in May 2015.
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THE BRIMSTONE WEDDING starts off with Genevieve meeting Stella, a very prim and proepr (and blazingly intelligent) woman who has moved into the residential home for the elderly to live out her final months as she dies from lung cancer. Geneieve feels a connection with this woman who seems so different from her, a lowly-paid carer who has just started an affair with a TV producer from London. Stella proves to be far more similar to Geneieve than she could've ever thought.
The stories of two sets of lovers--Geneieve and her TV producer, and Stella ne her lover--intertwine and defray as Stella slowly recounts the tale of how she found the love of her life too late and who Gilda Brent was (and why there is no record of her death).
In this story of how far people are willing to go for love (and how far love can go), Vine incorporates stinging social critiques of class, manners, divorce laws, and gender. I can't help but feel as if Jane Austen would've been proud of her contemporary cousin in the mystery genre. Amidst the critique and mystery of Gilda Brent's death, we also have a startling exploration of what love really means.
Rendell/Vine continues to impress me with her lyrical, layered storytelling.