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Anita Brookner

“They sat islanded in their foreignness, irrelevant now that the holiday season had ended, anachronistic, outstaying their welcome, no longer necessary to anyone's plans. Priorities had shifted; the little town was settling down for its long uninterrupted hibernation. No one came here in the winter. The weather was too bleak, the snow too distant, the amenities too sparse to tempt visitors. And they felt that the backs of the residents had been turned on them with a sigh of relief, reminding them of their transitory nature, their fundamental unreality. And when Monica at last succeeded in ordering coffee, they still sat, glumly, for another ten minutes, before the busy waitress remembered their order.
'Homesick,' said Edith finally. 'Yes.' But she thought of her little house as if it had existed in another life, another dimension. She thought of it as something to which she might never return. The seasons had changed since she last saw it; she was no longer the person who could sit up in bed in the early morning and let the sun warm her shoulders and the light make her impatient for the day to begin. That sun, that light had faded, and she had faded with them. Now she was as grey as the season itself. She bent her head over her coffee, trying to believe that it was the steam rising from the cup that was making her eyes prick. This cannot go on, she thought.”


Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac
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Hotel du Lac Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner
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