Edith Hope is in disgrace and working out her probation on the shores of Lake Geneva. Friends and family have banished her to seemly Swiss solitude - out of season - until such time as she may recover her senses. Her crime? It all subtly unfolds in Hotel du Lac. Edith reminds herself that the hotel at least provides an excellent opportunity to ...
Edith Hope is in disgrace and working out her probation on the shores of Lake Geneva. Friends and family have banished her to seemly Swiss solitude - out of season - until such time as she may recover her senses. Her crime? It all subtly unfolds in Hotel du Lac. Edith reminds herself that the hotel at least provides an excellent opportunity to finish writing her latest romantic novel. Fantasy and obfuscation are her business: they are also in her nature. In the quiet opulence of the Swiss dining room pampered windows languish in luxury, providing irresistible diversion to such an imaginative and compulsive observer: the carefully elegant Iris Pusey, 'respectable duenna', so utterly fulfilled in her desires that she prompts daring thoughts of possession even in the likes of someone as unprepossessing as Edith; Iris' daughter Jennifer, determinedly gamine, who has inherited her mother's profound, if good-natured, indifference to anyone but herself. Edith finds their simple greed heartening, enviable. Enter Mr Neville, devil's advocate, also spreading the gospel of seizing what you want. 'If your capacity for bad behavior were being properly used,' he tells Edith, 'you would not be moping around in that cardigan...Whoever told you that you looked like Virginia Woolf did you a grave disservice.' With characteristic wit and beautifully observed detail, Anita Brookner has created perhaps her most memorable heroine yet. Edith Hope, as reluctant to be recruited by the ultra-feminine as by feminists, adept as a romantic writer yet contending with her own puzzled view of romance, comes marvelously to life in this humorous and touching new novel.
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Publishers Weekly, 1986-02-14 The winner of the 1984 Booker Prize, this novel tells the story of Edith Hope, 40, unmarried and distraught over a failed love, who is persuaded by friends to go to the quiet, respectable Hotel du Lac in Switzerland. A writer of romantic fiction, Hope becomes enmeshed in the lives of the other guests. Noting that the delivery was perhaps more important than specific events, PW called Brookner ``insidiously observant, so soft of voice the reader must listen closely for the wry wit and sly humor. She is poignantly moving.'' (March) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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