"A Private View", a 1994 novel of Anita Brookner, plunges the reader into familiar Brookner territory: the streets of London, including suburbs and restaurants, and the French Riviera, with its dazzling sunsets and indifferent waiters. his time, the protaganist is a 65-year old retired businessman faced with retirement without his longtime friend, Putnam, who died suddenly, just as the two were about to embark on a trip to the Far East.
George Bland, the name is significant), thinks his love for a fortune-seeker who camps out in his neighbors' apartment without their knowledge, will save him from a lonely end of life, despite her indifference to his passion. Although he knows she will never return his feeling, he thinks living with her will set him free from an otherwise lackluster existence. How Brooker builds the novel to a climax with a series of very sublte changes, is fascinating, and exhibits her mastery of her minimalist style.
This report prepared by Betty-Jeanne Korson