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Paul and Henrietta are ill-prepared to meet Dolly, wife of Henrietta's beloved brother. Dolly becomes an object of both fascination and dread, especially to her niece Jane, who finds herself yoked to her aunt in an uneasy social and financial harness when Dolly becomes a widow.
— Los Angeles Times
"About as wonderful as anything Brookner has ever written."
— Carol Kino, The New York Times Book Review
"Poignant, beautifully told.... Only a writer of great passion, conviction and artistry could [create such] a spellbinding portrait of the dreams and frustrations of the human heart."
— Christian Science Monitor
Posted October 5, 2005
I found this novel to be quite simply a work of art¿I was struck by the way author Anita Brookner writes with such pure simplicity while having the keen insight to be able to describe a situation or character with such exact precision that the reader can totally understand, sympathize, and identify with the narrator. Brookner¿s work examines the reality of what lies beneath the surface of her characters in the course of their very realistic-seeming lives. Dolly, Jane, and Etty really come alive as Brookner fills their story with private insightful observations. This book was thoughtful and wise¿ a real find. Any reader who appreciates eloquent, introspective writing will relish Anita Brookner¿s books. I enjoyed Bay Of Angels also, but Dolly was even better in terms of being more memorable. The character of Dolly leaves the reader with an indelible impression: you loathe her, you pity her, and you definitely recognize people you know in her character. The relationship that Jane reaches with Dolly by the end of the book is unexpected and interesting. This would be a good book for a women¿s book club- you long to discuss it and compare reactions with someone else who has read it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.