Book: Hotel Du Lac by Anita Brookner
Published: EP Dutton, 1986
Buy it: Amazon
I wanted to like this book but I just couldn’t. Hotel Du Lac is the story of Edith Hope, a woman and author who is sent by her friends to a hotel in Switzerland to get over a mysterious lapse. Most of the story is about Edith’s impressions of the other hotel guests. There is plenty of description in this novel, in fact that’s about all that fills the 184 pages. We learn about the lives of a self-absorbed, rich widow and her daughter; the beautiful Monica with a secret past; and the interesting Mr. Neville. I wanted more of a story here. I found myself zoning out a lot. I know that learning about the other hotel guests was an integral part in helping Edith to confront her own issues with herself, but I just found it very boring. She was too preoccupied with the others because she was afraid to reveal any part of herself to the guests or even to the reader. If I were more of a fan of poetry, I would have probably enjoyed this more because the language is meant to be quite beautiful. I felt like Edith was too nosy and hypocritical. I also felt that Mr. Neville’s proposal was odd and forced. Brookner spent too much time on the descriptions and then had to rush the ending a bit to tie up Edith’s loose ends. Her revelations about her true self were anti-climatic for me because I wasn’t very invested in the story.
My rating: 1 star