'Without warning, it seemed, she had become a married woman.' Naive and undemanding, Harriet Lytton expects very little of life and that is what she recieves. Married to a respectable man old enough to be her father, Harriet's only taste of passion comes when she meets Jack Peckham, the unruly, attractive husband of her friend Tessa. Tessa and Harriet have for many years been bound together by their childhood friendship and the imposed alliance of their two daughters, Imogen and Lizzie. But events conspire to shatter the gentle rhythm of Harriet's life. Tragically restrained by her own cautious choices, she faces the cruellest losses of all: those of hope and desire. In A Closed Eye, Anita Brookner explores, with compassionate insight and stylistic brilliance, the self-inflicted paradoxes in the life of Harriet Lytton, a woman whose powers of submissiveness and self-denial are suddenly tested by the dizzying prospect of sexual awakening. In Harriet's gallant struggle with the single great temptation that comes her way, Brookner creates a hauntingly flawed heroine and a study in the evasions and disappointments that make up all our lives.
Anita Brookner CBE (born 16 July 1928) is a British, Booker award-winning novelist and art historian. Prunella Scales CBE is an English actress best known for her role as Basil Fawlty's wife Sybil in the BBC comedy Fawlty Towers and her BAFTA award-nominated role as Queen Elizabeth II in the play A Question of Attribution (Screen One, BBC 1991) by Alan Bennett. Prunella is a talented narrator and has won three AudioFile Earphones Awards for her readings of Emma by Jane Austen, Spacebaby by Henrietta Branford and Lucia's Progress by E.F. Benson. Audible is a seller and producer of spoken audio entertainment, information, and educational programming on the Internet.
'Anita Brookner has staked out a distinctive territory ... and made it clear that she is one of the finest novelists of her generation.' -- The New York Times '[Brookner's] prose is famously graceful, her understanding of human nature always keen .... A Closed Eye exhibits all of her elegance, subtlety of perception, and wistful tenderness.' -- Newsday 'Loneliness can hardly have been better portrayed ... This is Anita Brookner at her most sombre: yet not gloomy or depressing - the writing is too good.' -- Financial Times
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