I remember this particular title from a writer that I really admire. For those of you who doesn’t have an idea who she is, Barbara Vine is a pseudonym of Ruth Rendell –and I believe— the most profound of all mystery writers. This is my first encounter of a ‘Vine’ novel so I expect a lot since I’ve always heard that novels from her pen name are much more poetic, menacing and chilling if Rendell novels are not enough of that. And I have to agree with that, that it makes me brag about the writer and wonder at the same time why her popularity is not that much (but I am always glad whenever I encounter a novel which is compared with the name, Rendell).
About the novel, it is about the handsome Tim Cornish that is believed to murder his long-time older lover. Or has he really? Tim confesses about the crime which makes me grew with excitement as I turn the pages, there are times when I felt that he is being miserable and confused which somehow makes me despise him but his quirkiness and unpredictability makes me hope that the story ends in his favor. Enter a beautiful stranger whom Tim encounters while his partner is away, developing an intensely erotic affair and has suddenly vanished into thin air. The novel asks if not questions what one’s sexuality is. Is there really a right or moral one? Why we do the things we do and why we try to run when the one’s we really want most suddenly likes us?
But there is something I really don’t want about the novel; the ending. It’s not that I don’t want it to end but how things resolved is not in my favor. I don’t have the feeling of injustice here even though it’s normal for someone to feel that Tim should pay for what he have done, because the whole novel explains it…(don’t want to spoil). But it makes me feel lost. There is someone to blame but I don’t know who…that just makes me miserable. It is like tying a braid for a girl’s long hair but then you only twist two handfuls and left the other one.
Aww, the ending just makes me really want to question the author and ask her a big ‘why?’ Although my respect for her as one of my favorite British authors doesn’t brush off on what I’ve felt for this particular ending. Maybe Rendell just wanted to present a reality that things come as they are, and in real life, one cannot do something about it like Tim’s confusion and unstable decision making. And what I’ve said somehow makes me accept what happened since I cannot do something about it. But I don’t want to know that I’m just making this up. Oh, well. I’m here for you ***.
No Night Is Too Long is also adapted as a TV movie produced by BBC with the same title in 2002.
Opening Sentence: Outside a high wind is blowing and making the sea rough.
Ending Sentence: I wrote this last bit in the train, coming home to you.