'She hoped one day to find the image she unconsciously sought, without knowing why she sought it, something to lift the spirits, to transport her on an imaginary journey, to give a hint of the transcendence which was so blatantly lacking in her everyday life of words and paper'
Sisters Beatrice and Miriam have each other, but they were never close. Beatrice is a pianist, a romantic, while Miriam is disillusioned after a failed marriage. Living together yet failing to confide in one another, each is haunted by the mistakes they have made and the opportunities squandered. Both know that one day they will be forced to part, that they will each fall alone. So when Beatrice contemplates a future with Max, Miriam wonders whether the time has come sooner than she believed . . .
Anita Brookner was born in south London in 1928, the daughter of a Polish immigrant family. She trained as an art historian, and worked at the Courtauld Institute of Art until her retirement in 1988. She published her first novel, A Start in Life, in 1981 and her twenty-fourth, Strangers, in 2009. Hotel du Lac won the 1984 Booker Prize. As well as fiction, Anita Brookner has published a number of volumes of art criticism.
A sensationally good writer -- Julie Myerson Mail on Sunday She is one of the handful of living writers who can turn a sentence so graceful that to read it is a lascivious pleasure Sunday Times How can anything be so funny and so sad both at once? Every sentence is an object lesson in compression and wit. Tessa Hadley, Guardian Summer Reads, 2015
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