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The Bay of Angels Paperback – April 9, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Library Journal
- Barbara Love, Kingston Frontenac P.L., Ontario
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Much has been said about Brookner's lonely women and feminist approach and I will leave that to others who are better informed than me to remark upon. What I look for in every novel is the dramatic turn which never fails to be exciting. In THE BAY OF ANGELS, there are several but the most outstanding is the moment when Zoe returns to reclaim her stepfather's house in Nice and finds it already occupied, cocktails in hand, by his greedy relatives. The attitudes and survival tactics of the women who share the clinique with Zoe's sick mother are searing. Best of all is the moment by the sea when Zoe's reflects on the angels flying up from the bay and inward to land where they will reinforce the already celestial commercialism of earth.
A friend of mine in London once remarked to me that he sometimes sees Anita Brookner early in the morning on the Kings Road heading towards Waitrose supermarket. I was astounded, "doesn't anyone stop her," I asked imagining that she would be beset with fans. "No," said my friend, "nobody knows who she is." I would prefer to think that London is so vast that it renders one anonymous and invisible which is often the very dilemma ensnaring her characters.
I have read more than 10 books by Anita Brookner, and each one of them was and still a great experience and an enrichment for the soul and the mind!.
Having said all this, "BAy of Angels" is really not terrific Brookner. The main character Zoe is not quite right, so I recommend the earlier titles. If you like them, proceed. She is not for everyone.
Zoë is a very introspective and passive person. The novel essentially consists of her analyzing, in sometimes excruciating detail, the situations she finds herself in, none of which truly makes her happy, both because she feels caged by her loyalty to her mother and due to her extraordinarily quiescent personality. She inwardly rails against her lonely existence, but outwardly she does nothing about it, because that might entail giving offense to someone. So she grudgingly acquiesces in being buffeted about. And all the while she meditates on life's lessons, reaching the following conclusion by the end of the novel: "Life has brought me to this condition of acceptance, and at last I understand that acceptance is all. * * * The plot will unfold, with or without my help."
I note that many other Amazon reviewers have criticized THE BAY OF ANGELS for its navel-gazing and lack of plot. Those are understandable reasons for dissatisfaction.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent, thoughtful, touching prose. Life in London and in Nice odpf a
As always a grand achievement by Ms Brookner.
If you value life, read Brookner and Pym. Start with "The Misalliance." Brookner's light hearted depiction of a husband's daliance, and self deceit are wonderful to behold.Published on March 12, 2013 by Shirley Mason
Brookner returns to a theme that has engaged her attention again and again throughout her career as a novelist. Read morePublished on February 17, 2013 by meeah
Anita Brookner is timeless, and not just because she has been producing a compact novel of consistent quality almost annually since 1981. Read morePublished on July 4, 2012 by Roger Brunyate
This is the first book by this author I've ever read, and it'll be the last. I had to grit my teeth to get through to the end. Read morePublished on October 12, 2007 by Parker
Anita Brookner has written not so much a coming of age story as a coming to terms story. Zoe Cunningham narrates her own life story, beginning with her childhood as the daughter of... Read morePublished on May 1, 2006 by Linda Pagliuco
What a tiresome trudge it was to get through this slim book. In a mere 220 or so pages the writer manages to repeat the same boring, navel gazing tosh several times over. Read morePublished on December 5, 2002 by Neil Palmer
This was terrible. Ruminations disguised as a novel. This is my second Anita Brookner novel (after Hotel du Lac). Read morePublished on June 17, 2002
I've been listening to the book on tape, and am giving up. The characters are totally self-absorbed, shallow and uninteresting. Read morePublished on April 9, 2002 by K. Smith