Hotel du lac Anita Brookner

Continuing my journey through Booker Prize winners. I had a feeling that this would be a terribly British sort of book and was correct. That’s OK, I don’t mind the odd Iris Murdoch novel. But this isn’t Iris. There isn’t much of a plot to be had – it’s a character study. The main character is an author of romance novels. She has traveled to Switzerland to a private hotel occupied mainly by other women. The odd bloke or two in the novel are mainly cads.

The central character interacts with the other women and it’s all a bit sad. While it’s about their interactions, the women seem to be reliant on men for their happiness. No feminism here. After lots of boring dinners, breakfasts and lunches (plus cakes, coffee with a small dog) the reason for her journey is revealed. Not a big reveal and not a total surprise.That’s almost the entire plot.

The character portraits are great, but it’s a depressing little read. Just makes me very glad that the feminist movement came about and was so successful – although I’m not sure the author would agree with me.

A quote:

“Good women always think it is their fault when someone else is being offensive. Bad women never take the blame for anything.”


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