Ruth smiles, but beneath the surface nurses a hatred as powerful as the sea, and as sharp as the coldest of blades. The object of Ruth's malevolence is her cousin, Elizabeth - orphaned at nine months and raised by Ruth's parents as their own - whose very presence stole Ruth's birthright as only child. From this twisted sense of betrayal grows an envy, dark as night, from which there can be but one refuge: Elizabeth's destruction.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Sin, like Josephine Hart's third novel The Stillest Day, is an explicitly cautionary tale. Ruth Ashbridge is, from childhood, obsessively jealous of her orphaned cousin Elizabeth. At first, her envy leads her into only minor misbehaviour--adopting her smile, stealing her jewellery and silk underwear. Yet these small thefts quickly escalate into major transgressions as Ruth sets about stealing Elizabeth's husband and her happiness.
The confessional nature of Hart's first-person narrative suits the outpouring of hatred and envy. Ruth's position is succinctly summed up: "Like Satan before the Fall, I came to hate the very nature of goodness, to fear its power." However, her emotion is occasionally overemphasised and the descriptions of her overwrought, resulting in Ruth sounding unintentionally comic. She says of her own marriage to Dominick: "We were balanced. His love. My coldness."
With Sin, Josephine Hart aims to create a modern biblical parable. In order to foreground the didactic content of her novel, Hart keeps characterisation to a minimum, shunning the complex psychology and narrative tension of her first novel Damage. In Hart's world, sin--succumbing to an impulse in complete disregard of its consequences--leads inescapably to tragedy. Through that tragedy, the heroine will learn too late the true value of goodness. --Vanessa CookReview:
'..the narrative is stripped down to a single, inexorable storyline that centres on the destructive power of passion..a tour de force' -- the New York Times
'The elegant, adamantine prose is as powerful as ever..contained within a cool and ruthless grasp’ -- the Times
..'a compelling, literary and sinister tale..with a sure feel for the ricochet effects of psychological violence’ -- Irish Times
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Book Description Vintage, 1996. Book Condition: New. 1St Edition. N/A. Ships from the UK. BRAND NEW. Bookseller Inventory # GRP70603130
Book Description Vintage, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0099592215
Book Description Vintage, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099592215