My Policeman by Bethan Roberts

Posted December 31, 2021 by Debbie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

My Policeman by Bethan Roberts

3.75 Stars


From the moment Marion first lays eyes on Tom – her best friend’s big brother, broad, blond, blue-eyed – she is smitten. And when he comes home from National Service to be a policeman, Marion, a newly qualified teacher, is determined to win him. Unable to acknowledge the signs that something is amiss, she plunges into marriage, sure that her love is enough for both of them…

But Tom has another life, another equally overpowering claim on his affections. Patrick, a curator at the Brighton Museum, is also besotted with his policeman, and opens Tom’s eyes to a world previously unknown to him. But in an age when those of ‘minority status’ were condemned by society and the law, it is safer for this policeman to marry his teacher. The two lovers must share him, until one of them breaks and three lives are destroyed.

Unfolding through the dual narratives of Marion and Patrick, both writing about the man at the centre of their lives, this beautifully-told, painful, tragic story is revealed.It is a tale of wasted years, misguided love and thwarted hope, of how at a time when the country was on the verge of change so much was still impossible.


~ My Thoughts ~

I found this book while scrolling through my Google newsfeed.  It wasn’t the cover that attracted me or the author as I hadn’t heard of her before.  It was the headline about this book being made into a film starring Harry Styles. I’ll admit I am a huge fan of book to film.  It’s wonderfully exciting to see if the film reflects the story that I played out in my mind while reading.

With that said, I am nowhere near the age of the girls who follow this singing stars every move, but over the past couple of months having watched various videos from his latest concert I’ll admit he intrigued me.  What I found most surprising while watching these videos was his wonderful talent for connecting with his audience, making them feel like he truly cared, that they were friends and left them feeling a deep seated connection.

So as I started to say, that is what drew me to click on the link and find out what this book was all about and I’m happy that I did.

My Policeman is a love story of one woman and two men.  The story begins in the early 1950’s, set in England.  While I found it a bit of a hard read to start, I’ll admit the more I read, the more I wanted to know.  I enjoyed each character, their storylines and how each characters connection provided a full and complete understanding of their emotions. 

I found that I was surprised at some points throughout the book and felt the sting of the pain in other parts.  There were a few select lines where I felt that the author had shattered my heart. A feeling so deep within my soul and I was shocked at the effect the author’s word had on me.

 The turn of events were unexpected which is something that I really enjoyed and the ending was by far the biggest surprise.

The writing style was lovely.  I would compare this to a symphony or the opera.  A beautiful slow start, building as the song progresses and at the end a perfectly timed explosion of emotions racing through your body.

My Policeman was an unexpected find.  One I truly enjoyed and I can’t wait to see this author’s vision

come to life on the big screen.


~ Alternate Cover and A Bit About The Author ~


Bethan Roberts was born in Abingdon. Her first novel ‘The Pools’ was published in 2007 and won a Jerwood/Arvon Young Writers’ Award. Her second novel ‘The Good Plain Cook’, published in 2008, was serialized on BBC Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime and was chosen as one of Time Out’s books of the year. ‘My Policeman’ was published by Chatto and Windus in February 2012 and was selected as that year’s City Read for Brighton. Her latest novel, ‘Mother Island’, is longlisted for the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. She also writes short stories (in 2006 she was awarded the Olive Cook short story prize by the Society of Authors) and drama for BBC Radio 4. Bethan has worked as a television documentary researcher, writer and assistant producer, and has taught Creative Writing at Chichester University and Goldsmiths College, London. She lives in Brighton with her family.


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