Visitors by Anita Brookner

VisitorsElderly widow Thea May is settled into a narrow, comfortable life, until a family wedding forces her to become involved. She becomes more aware of the delicate balances, the bargains, the unspoken understandings that bind her generation of relatives together. Brookner excels in the nuances of these relationships, slowly exploring the way the young bride, groom, and his friend respond to the family, and the surprising satisfactions and disappointments that ensue. Unpleasant as many of the characters seem, they are basically decent people struggling with fears and past shames.

Not much happens outwardly in Brookner’s novels; the action consists of reflections and internal changes. While Brookner probably appeals more to older readers, she offers generosity and insight into her character’s motives that can apply to any age.

Reviewed by Sara V.

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