Belinda’s Law, by Jerry Bronk – Reviewed by: Pacific Book Review
Belinda’s Law is a delightful examination of the life situation of a group of characters as normal as the readers of the book. There are no superhero archetypes or supervillain devils lurking in the shadows to pick up the thread of the story and make the book something other than the daily struggles we all go through in the life. The basic, normal contemporary fiction that Jerry Bronk presents to readers sheds new light on old themes: to live, to love, to work, to play, to dream. There are few surprises in life and this book presents a narrative reminiscing by the main character of a life lived and acted out in reality, not fantasy.
For such a short book (even short by short story standards), there are a lot of twists and turns that come out of the woodwork like termites emerging from their hiding place in a wall to find a classic piece of furniture to devour. While devouring the pages, those same twists lend themselves nicely to a story that introduces a part of each of us to the reader.
This reviewer was taken to a part of the United States where he had never been to fall in love with people he had never met, daydreaming about history and what might happen next while making a pause in reading. This book really has no other setting than the lives of almost anyone who might read the book. And the character names could easily be replaced with our own names, or the names of people we know or have known throughout our lives. Sticking to the facts and remembering that this book is fiction and not a “true crime” type novel about a man, his daughter and the people around them, is very difficult. Reality seems to mingle with fantasy in a dreamscape that you wouldn’t remember when waking up, but vividly remember when trying to fall asleep.
Although typesetting is a major issue for this book (it looks so unprofessional) and the font itself is so small that even this reader with normal eyesight had to squint to follow the smooth flow of the ‘writing. Although the author uses the semicolon too much (and mostly incorrectly), there are no editorial issues that would prevent this book from being commercially sold or marketed to an audience who loves a good late 20th century story. about ordinary people doing ordinary things in a mess created by other ordinary people doing ordinary things.
I finished this book wondering what was next. Will there be a sequel? Will there be a book written by Belinda or another character that tells the story in a different way? Will I, the reader, write a sequel to the book just to finish the story in my own mind, a mind that no longer seems normal but rather a little demented?