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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage Contemporaries Ed edition (October 3, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679759328
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679759324
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Edith Hope (a.k.a. romance author Veronica Wilde) has been banished by her friends to a stately hotel in Switzerland. During her stay she befriends some of the other guests, each of whom has his or her own tale. Edith struggles to come to terms with her career and love--the lack, the benefits, and the meaning thereof.

Review

"Brookner's most absorbing novel...wryly realistic...graceful and attractive." ?Anne Tyler, The New York Times Book Review

"Impeccably written and suffused with pleasing wit." ?Newsweek

"Distinctive, spellbinding...elegant but passionate, funny but oddly earnest.... Novels like hers are why we read novels." ?Christian Science Monitor

"A remarkable novel...Anita Brookner's best." ?Victoria Glendinning, The Sunday Times (London)

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Customer Reviews

The writing is of another era; the characters well-drawn.
Mrs. Jones
Although the book is well written I thought it was a bit slow moving, and didn't actually warm to the protagonist, or ANY of the characters.
Ian Gillespie-Smith
There are so many undercurrents in this story and the writing is marvelous, wry, witty and multi-layered.
Kaye Barlow

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 61 people found the following review helpful By marzipan on September 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
Hotel du Lac is Anita Brookner at her best (recognizing that she's a writer who either draws you into her spell or doesn't.) In this novel she held me spellbound. A young woman has been sent by well-meaning friends to respectable Swiss lakeside hotel, elegant and restfully dull, to get over a disastrous love affair. But as in all of Anita Brookner's novels, there are deep layers to apparent dullness, and the traquillity of the hotel's atmosphere and the predictability of its guests is only apparent.
The melancholy yet lovely coming of autumn on the shores of the lake is as much an integral part of the story as the heroine's lonely and reflective voice. The other guests at the hotel frame Edith's awareness and become major catalysts of the book's plot. The sadness of the events Edith reveals to the reader is always balanced by her deliciously honest irony toward herself--her awareness that she has chosen her destiny. The ending is remarkable.
I read Hotel du Lac when it was first published and again recently. It's even better on re-reading, richer and deeper, proving itself a contemporary classic. Anita Brookner has a voice that's unique, original, and, certainly in this book, perfect.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "celiatraum" on September 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
Within the exquisitely refined prose of Hotel du Lac, British novelist Anita Brookner illuminates the quest of the human soul through the journey of one apparently meek, middle-aged writer of romance.
Encouraged to take some time away in order to come to her senses after committing a rather glaring social faux pas (which just so happens to be a manifestation of genuine truth), Edith Hope sees little to be gained from her exile. Yet, whether enveloped within the solitude of her dreary room or lingering within the company of the hotel's curiously assembled guests, this unassuming heroine finds herself gleaning perspective into the nuances of romantic entanglements while, at the same time, acquiring heart-wrenching insight into the ways of the world.
The subtlety with which Brookner so gracefully propels the tale, without question, serves to intensify the profundity and depth of the work upon its conclusion. Indeed, a moment arrives in which the reader holds within her hands not merely an engaging work of contemporary fiction, but a mirror within which she may discover her own illusions revealed.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
Anita Brookner is a writer of enormous intelligence and subtlety. She is a writer who chronicles the small motions of the heart in expectation and disappointment. She writes usually with a kind of fine irony and her characters rarely escape untouched by careful criticism. In this novel still thought to be her best Edith Hope the protagonist a romance- writer who has walked out of her own wedding and is carrying on a passionate( from her side) affair with a married man escapes to a Swiss vacation resort. There she encounters other lives caught in the desperations of love, and there too she comes to meet the one who will be something like her rescuer, the decent Neville who she will commit herself to a loveless marriage too. With Brookner the heart of the story is not in the major movements of the plot but with the line- by- line perceptions which mark out an extremely intelligent observer of the heart's minor motions. Disappointment and learning to live with a life far less than one has hoped are major Brookner themes. She gives the reader that consolation of knowing that a certain kind of quiet suffering is not theirs alone.

I myself have found that reading a few Brookner novels has been enough, but I know one faithful reader of Brookner who continues to see her as the best diagnostician of the ailing human heart writing novels today.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Librarian on January 6, 1998
Format: Paperback
Anita's Brookner's "Hotel du Lac" is purely perfect. Her writing is precise, sparkling, and emotive. Edith Hope (even the name is evocative), is one of Brookner's most finely drawn characters.
Sent by well-meaning friends to a timeless, proper hotel at the tail-end of the tourist season for a transgression of the romantic sort, spinsterish Edith is left to ponder the outcome of the rest of her life. But there are tentative friendships, quiet observations and a fragile hope that come from her exile.
Reading this novel gave me the exaltation that comes from reading great literary fiction, along with the satisfaction of discovering a well-written story. Treasure this book!
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
Potential Readers Beware: This book is subtle, intelligent, witty, heartbreaking, arid, sensuous, eloquent and luminous. If you are looking for a rollicking, wham-bam-thank-you-maam plot, look elsewhere. Anita Brookner writes of the quiet and unnoticed desperation of women and men of a certain age. If you give yourself over to this book and this writer, the reward will be lasting.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By William Scraggs on December 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
The plot is unconvincing and lacking in depth. The heroine, Edith Hope, takes a break in a respectable lakeside Swiss hotel, escaping for a while from the immediate consequences of a social indiscretion which she recently committed at home in England. The story concerns her relationships with people who are only acquaintances: her fellow guests in the Hotel du Lac and at home her neighbour and her housekeeper. In often flowery vocabulary, we are introduced to these acquaintances and their foibles: people who have unhealthy relationships with their mothers, daughters, dogs, food and money. The heroine's relationships with these acquaintances amount to little more than disparate and somewhat trivial ancedotes, which are unsatisfactory in the sense that they are peripheral or even irrelevant to the main theme, the true love of the heroine. Her character is languid. It is hard to believe that anyone (even the heroine, who is a writer of romantic fiction) could have mere acquaintances talk them into marriage with a man acknowledged from the outset to be a mother centered bore, while subsequently considering marrying another where both acknowledge from the outset that they do not love each other. Lost in these unlikely banalities is the potential story of her love for the man of whom she is mistress. Ironically, the indiscretion, for which the heroine is banished to the Hotel du Lac, is perhaps her only principled and courageous act.
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