Friday, 5 November 2010

Hotel Du Lac

All I learned I learned from Father. Think again Edith. You have made a false equation.

I tried to read an Anita Brookner novel in my twenties and found it too ponderous and slow. Oh the foolishness of youth! Now I'm well into my forties I've finally got around to reading Hotel du Lac and can appreciate Brookner for the superb writer she is.

Edith, a romantic novelist, is sent by her friends to stay at the Hotel du Lac on the shores of Lake Geneva after she disgraces herself in polite London society (can't give anything away). She is intrigued by the summer inhabitants of the Hotel du Lac and finds unexpectedly that their lives encroach upon hers.

A beautifully written short novel, a hotel setting, a dedication to Rosamond Lehmann and a subtle and clever ending. Perfect!

13 comments:

Cornflower said...

I want to read it again!

Steph said...

I have a copy of this one and definitely intend to give it a try... hopefully before I'm out of my 20s, but with my backlog of books, I make no promises... Perhaps it's best if I wait anyway? ;)

Coffee and a Book Chick said...

There are so many that I read while younger that I couldn't seem to get into -- and I've found they certainly warrant another try! Thanks for the reminder and boost to do so!

lifeonthecutoff said...

I do think that books call to us at different times in our lives. What is appealing in our youth may not be so later on in life and so on and so on. My tbr pile is starting to topple off the roof, but, I will keep this in mind and know should I see it in some bookstore that it will be mine to read.

Carolyn said...

I've wanted to read Anita Brookner because I think she could be my kind of author with all of her introverted women, but like you say, in my 20s she seemed a bit too slow and sad. This is good to know that waiting a few more years can't hurt! I also think about how certain revered British authors are writing their best work at a much older age than I currently am, so maybe I just am not at the age to fully appreciate their books yet, even though I'd like to.

Thomas at My Porch said...

Now that you have discovered you like Anita Brookner, you have about 22 more of her books to read. I only have one left that I haven't read. But am looking forward to starting over. I love her books.

Mae said...

The title always conjures up Victorian Gothic and vampires in my mind. Must read it to expel these images!

Mystica said...

I've only read and reviewed Dolly which I loved! Thanks for this post.

bookssnob said...

Anita Brookner is one author I am yet to try. A dedication to Rosamund Lehmann has me sold! Let's hope I don't find it too slow...I am an old soul for my 24 years!

potterjotter said...

I read this years ago and remember enjoying it ... but never got round to any of her others. Maybe I will now.

Audrey said...

I want to read it again, too! I think I would react to it as you did...as much better reading for me now than then.

Vintage Reading said...

Hi Karen, look forward to your review!

Steph, so nice to have all that reading time ahead of you!

Coffee and Book Chick, yes I think it works the other way as well. I adored Wuthering Heights in my twenties but find it difficult to read now.

lifeonthecuff, I do agree that books speak to us at different times of our lives. I suppose the best writers (Austen) can speak to us throughout our life.

Carolyn, hi, yes I believe Brookner didn't publish until late in life. I'm certainly going to read more of her work.

Thomas, I didn't know you where a Brookner fan! I'm going to trawl your blog for reviews and recommendations.

Mae, Brookner doesn't do gothic, vampires or even zombies. Shame, really!

Mystica, I'm going to search for your review. Thanks.

Booksnob, yes the dedication has intrigued me because she doesn't write like Lehmann. I think you'd like this even though you are far too young for it!!

potterjotter, it won the Booker Prize I think so had a lot of publicity in the 80's. We must read more Brookner!

pburt said...

I have never read Brookner but I am encouraged by your review. I also liked Wuthering Heights more as a young adult than I do now - the same with Anna Karenina. She was a romantic figure when I was young, now I just want to slap her.