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Hotel Du Lac Paperback – October 3, 1995

3.7 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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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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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: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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By A Customer 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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback
Anita Brookner is the master of the quiet moment, of the invisible psychological turning-points upon which the course of entire lives depend and change forever. Outwardly, nothing, or, at most, very little, ever happens in her novels. This is the key to her realism. In real life, the revolutions are interior; often what changes us most radically happens in the private moments that no one ever witnesses, a result of the thoughts, reflections, and dreams that occur by necessity when we are most alone, closest to our true selves.

It is in describing the life of the solitary that Brookner most excels. In "Hotel Du Lac" she does this through the character of Edith Hope. Edith is an English writer of old-fashioned romance novels who, having committed an all-too-non-fictional romantic gaffe, has agreed to a period of semi-voluntary exile at a fashionably unfashionable lakeside hotel in Switzerland. Here she hopes to recover her equilibrium and her dignity after an unsettling love affair with a married man and a broken wedding date with another that she accepted as consolation.

Ironically, Edith is not ironic about the romance in the novels that she pens. As a woman, she is something of an anachronism in a modern world turned cynical in its attitudes towards romantic love. At the hotel, among its largely female guests, she meets a man who singles her out as a prime candidate for what he considers an ultra-modern, ultra-liberated, ultra-practical "arrangement" of mutual benefit. It is, Edith realizes, a tempting offer; perhaps the best and last that will come her way. Whether she accepts or not will determine not only the course of her future but define her character. Does she amend the errors of her romantic illusions and take the offer, which would appeal to any truly modern woman?
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