Boekverslag : Anita Brookner - Hotel Du Lac
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Hotel du lac
Who tells us the story? Is it the I-person, the writer, an outsider?
An outsider tells us the story.
How much time, roughly speaking, passes between the beginning and the end of the story?
A few weeks are passing during the book.
Describe the main characters! (Are they round or flat characters? Explain!)
Edith: An 39-years old lady, she is an author of romantic books, she has left her almost-husband Geoffrey 15 minutes before the marriage, because she realised that she didn't loved him. Because her family and friends were very angry at her, she has left her home for a few weeks (round character)
Mrs. (Iris) Pursey: She is a guest in the hotel, an old rich lady, she is a little bit egoistic. (flat character)
Jennifer: The daughter of Mrs. Pursey, she is like her mother. (flat character)
Monica: She is also a guest in the hotel, the same age of Edith, she talks a lot, she is rich but unhappy, she has anorexia nervosa. She is married with a rich man, but because she can't get children, he doesn't wants her anymore (flat character)
k Philip Neville: He stays also in the hotel, he's a businessman. He asks Edith to marry him, because they both need a partner. (flat character)
David: A married man, Edith has a secret relation with him. (flat character)
What is/are the main theme(s) in the book (e.g. love, death, crime, good, evil, friendship etc.)?
Does the novel belong to a specific genre?
It is a psychologic novel
Where and when does the story take place?
The story take place in Switzerland in 'Hotel du Lac' near a lake. The year is about 1980, I think.
Describe what happens at the end of the story? (sad, happy, open-ended)
At the end of the story, Edith decides not to marry with Phillip Neville (because she don't love him) and she goes back to her home. So at the end of the story Edith turns out to be a very strong woman.
Explain the title of the book.
'Hotel du Lac' This story happens in Hotel du Lac, so that's just the name of the book. (and also the name of the lake near the hotel).
Are there any autobiographical elements in the story?
No, I don't think so.
Was the book interesting to read? Was it difficult?
Sometimes there were difficult words in the book, but I could understand where the story was about. I like the book, it's ok, but I don't like it very much.
Summarise the book
Edith has done something terrible. She has left her prospective husband 15 minutes before the marriage. (this is told later in the book). That's why she wants to leave her family and friends for a while, because they are very angry at her, and she goes to Switzerland to Hotel du Lac. Edith is very lonely in the hotel, but she is afraid for searching contact. But she doesn't like it to be alone, she search contact with Mrs. Pussey and her daughter. Mrs. Pussey keeps talking about herself and her family, and when Edith wants to say something, Mrs. Pusey doesn't listen. So the only thing Edith has to do is listen. Then she meets Monica and her dog. Monica is also speaking a lot, Monica doesn't like the Pusseys and that's why Edith is a kind of a 'bridge' between Monica and the Pusseys. Edith doesn't like this situation, and so she is not able to make a happy end on her book.
There is also an man in the hotel, Mr Neville, and Mrs. Pussey thinks that he has an eye on Edith, but she doesn't believe her. But Edith and Mr Phillip Neville become closer and closer and then Mr Neville ask her to marry him. He wants to marry her, not because they love each other, but because they are both 'persons at age' and they both need a partner. Edith has to think about this idea, because it remembers her about her almost-marriage with Geoffrey and her relation with David.
The day before Phillip and Edith should went to Phillips house, because Edith has decided to marry him, she sees him coming out of the room of Jennifer. Although they commit that they would leave each other free in their love-life she understands that Phillip is doing this too quick after Edith's decision to marry her, and she decides not to marry him. She makes this decision because she thinks that she only want to marry a man if she loves him, and she doesn't love Phillip. So she flies back to her house in London.
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