When Anna Durrant is reported missing, her friends seem unconcerned at her disappearance. After all, her life has been one of concealment.
For years Anna submitted to the protective dependence of her mother, and even after Amy Durrant's death she simply conformed to the expectations of others.
Increasingly, Anna feels herself trapped by these expectations. Only by drawing on extraordinary strength and determination can Anna break away and enjoy her freedom, finally taking charge of her own destiny.
©1992 Anita Brookner (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
Avid reader of thrillers and classics.
What a long time to reach a conclusion but once arrived at the end was hopeful. One of Brookner's themes is, women must, if to be happy, find out who they really are. This is very evident in Fraud.
Men in this story are fraudulent towards women, wanting them for entertainment, for succour and, of course, for sex and money.
Some women like Anna, the protagonist, is not prepared to accept these demands and her life seems pointless, empty and sad.
However, she eventually finds her own way, though the journey is difficult and cheerless to hear.
In the hands of a lesser writer, this would be a cheerless tale. But Brookner spins a delicate and heart tugging narrative that entrapped this listener almost completely.
The doctor was appealing: fictional doctors often are. He was a cut above the usual healer of romantic fiction for doing the wrong things, where emotional entanglements were concerned because he did not have sufficient strength of character to see his decisions for what they were until it was too late.
Anna was elusive, puzzling but ultimately strong and clear in my imagination. A fine heroine indeed.
Everything. Ever single word she speaks, sparkles. She inhabits the narrative and gives voice to each character in a way which is quite unique.
Almost. I heard it over three sittings rather than one because, at a length of seven hours, one sitting would be impractical. Also it was nice to save the hours spent listening as an evening treat.
"Jamesian, Whartonesque, Eliotlike 📚📖"
It took me awhile to get into this book. At first I kept thinking, "There's just not enough THERE there," because of the veeeery slowly revealed plot, the way there is scarcely any of what we're used to calling "action," and the way the characters lead such uneventful, lonely, empty, chilly, disappointed lives. But then at a certain point I realized that I was hooked. The characters' loneliness, their tiny (and larger) disappointments, the multiple small ways they hide the truth from themselves and each other, and their lack of true connection with one another--the fraud of all their lives--IS the point, and I'm sure there are parts of this book I won't ever forget. I now want to read everything else Anita Brookner has written. She writes beautiful sentences, and is very, very similar in plot, style and substance to Henry James (think Beast in the Jungle), Edith Wharton (think Age of Innocence), and even George Eliot (the doctor in Fraud bearing more than a passing similarity to the Doctor in Middlemarch). If you've read and loved those authors/those works, you're in for a real treat here. (By contrast, if you've read The Beast in the Jungle and thought exasperatedly, "There's just no THERE there," then do yourself a favor and skip this one.)
The great Anna Massey is positively flawless as narrator.
Grade: A. Bechdel test: Pass.
"Top Shelf Brookner"
It's hard to describe the appeal of Anita Brookner's novels. They're all similar in tone. They have similar themes, characters, and pacing. They tend to be heavy on exposition and the fine dissection of tiny moments. They focus on people with lonely and often uneventful, disappointed lives. And yet, I find them riveting. I especially enjoy listening to them. Brookner's sentences are perfectly balanced, gently ironic, and wryly amusing. Every moment sheds light and insight into some corner of the human psyche. They're small novels about tiny worlds that have a big impact,
This one is outstanding. A cast of icy, unhappy people whose minor errors and small disappointments are somehow important.
Anna Massey could read a microbiology textbook and make it entertaining. I love her terse, clipped voice, which is somehow perfect for these characters. It's a brilliant performance.
"Entertaining and crafty/sly techniques, excellent"
The characters are 3dimensional. Depicts English culture, also theme about getting old, care taking, and different relationships between people Begins w mystery & despite domestic settings the story remains suspenseful.
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