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Hotel Du Lac Paperback – October 3, 1995
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Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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"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)
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent sophisticated British novel. Won the Booker and clearly deserved it. Perhaps a tad dated now.Published 3 months ago by Avid Reader
Beautiful descriptions of people, relationships and situations by a brilliant observer of people. One of the brst books I've ever read - can be resd in one day!!Published 3 months ago by Warwick J Benson
Live very close to the Hotel du Lac in Vevey where the novel is set - cannot believe this rambling piece got a Booker prize.Published 3 months ago by Swiss Quality
This being a prize winning book, I possibly expected a liitle more from it. I did enjoy it, I read it in one sitting, I found it very easy to see where the plot was going but I... Read morePublished 5 months ago by HJM
What was contemporary fiction like before we packed everyone off to MFA factories to practice literary pyrotechnics? Read morePublished 10 months ago by Eve Becker
Analysis of a painfully lonely female life - a passive life with episodic self-assertiveness. Edith at least knows what she doesn't want, though how to know, and then get, what... Read morePublished 11 months ago by flor
I really wanted to like this book, but it never got going for me. Brookner is a good writer, but the story wasn't for me. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Veena Rangaswami
This was selected by my bookclub for discussion. I loved the writing. We discussed the story and argued over parts of it; however, I won't share our discussion because plot... Read morePublished 16 months ago by David