In the novel that won her the Booker Prize and established her international reputation, Anita Brookner finds a new vocabulary for framing the eternal question “Why love?” It tells the story of Edith Hope, who writes romance novels under a psudonym. When her life begins to resemble the plots of her own novels, however, Edith flees to Switzerland, where the quiet luxury of the Hotel du Lac promises to resore her to her senses. But instead of peace and rest, Edith finds herself sequestered at the hotel with an assortment of love’s casualties and exiles. She also attracts the attention of a worldly man determined to release her unused capacity for mischief and pleasure. Beautifully observed, witheringly funny, Hotel du Lac is Brookner at her most stylish and potently subversive.
My take: 3 looks
I am giving this book three looks because I found it easy to read and I loved Brookner’s writing style The story was mediocre. Brookner assumes her readers are intelligent and uses the language to its fullest flourish. I adore reading books that drive me to the dictionary!
I felt quite like I knew these characters, as seen through the eyes of the protagonist, Edith Hope. As an author, she is a very astute observer of people, and the hotel gives her a small but interesting menagerie. Interestingly, she is keen on looking at others with a critical eye while dismissing her own indulgences until late in the story, where her self-reflection takes her to a crossroads.
It is worth the read, in that the less-than-200 pages will cost you only a few days. Brookner’s writing style is a delight and this winner of the 1984 Man Booker prize will hold its own on your TBR list.