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.
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Hope springs eternal
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.
- pauline wallin