Hotel du Lac
Anita Brookner, 1984
The book opens as Edith, newly arrived at the hotel, peers out her bedroom window onto a gray “anesthetic” landscape, blanketed in mist or fog, which conceals major landmarks. Of course, the view subtly parallels her state of mind and her degree of self-knowledge, and both landscape and personal vision will attain clarity by the novel’s end.
In one rather funny luncheon with her editor, Edith holds forth on the tortoise and the hare: she writes her love stories, she claims, for tortoises (read "losers" here), and in her books the tortoise always wins. But that's only in books...and in Aesop's Fable! In real life, says Edith, it’s the hare who wins—every damn time. And by this book's end, we're not sure whether Edith herself is a tortoise or hare—whether she wins or loses.
That’s part of the charm of this work; the loose strings aren’t so neatly tied-up at the end, and we’re left to wonder. This is a sophisticated piece of writing, and I think book clubs will have fun figuring out exactly what will happen after the last line, in fact, what is even meant by the last line.
See our Reading Guide for Hotel du Lac.
Site by BOOM
LitLovers © 2016