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The Rules of Engagement: A Novelby Anita Brookner
Synopses & Reviews
In this masterly new novel, the Booker Prize–winning author of Hotel du Lac and Making Things Better gives us an exquisite story about the changes in relationships over time, and how our life choices can both reflect the past and direct the future. Hailed as “one of the finest novelists of her generation” (The New York Times), Anita Brookner here weaves an impeccably crafted tale of two women, friends from youth, and the decisions and men that define their destinies.
Elizabeth and Betsy knew each other as schoolchildren. When they meet again later in life, one is safely married, the other most unsafely partnered. Together, they discover that despite their very disparate lives, they still have in common the capacity for making dangerous choices. Ultimately, their inclination to implement these decisions reveals the fate that was spelled out in their characters from the start.
From the Hardcover edition.
Encountering each other later in life, Elizabeth and Betsy, two women who had known each other since childhood, reflect on the decisions and the men who have shaped their destinies. By the author of Making Things Better. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.
Elizabeth and Betsy had been school friends in 1950s London. Elizabeth, prudent and introspective, values social propriety. Betsy, raised by a spinster aunt, is open, trusting, and desperate for affection. After growing up and going their separate ways, the two women reconnect later in life. Elizabeth has married kind but tedious Digby, while Betsy is still searching for love and belonging. In this deeply perceptive story, Anita Brookner brilliantly charts the resilience of a friendship tested by alienation and by jealousy over a man who seems to offer the promise of escape.
About the Author
Anita Brookner was born in London and, apart from several years spent in Paris, has lived there ever since. She trained as an art historian and taught at the Courtauld Institute of Art until 1988. The Rules of Engagement is her twenty-second novel.
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