At the heart of Anita Brookner's new novel lies a double mystery: What has happened to Anna Durrant, a solitary woman of a certain age who has disappeared from her London flat? And why has it taken four months for anyone to notice?
As Brookner reconstructs Anna's life and character through the eyes of her acquaintances, she gives us a witty yet ultimately devastating study of self-annihilating virtue while exposing the social, fiscal, and moral frauds that are the underpinnings of terrifying rectitude.
"Starts like a classic detective story and continues like a metaphysical mystery...fascinating [and] deeply satisfying. Brookner's most enjoyable novel in many years."-- San Francisco Chronicle
"Sophisticated and intelligent...Although Brookner has often been compared to Jane Austen, Henry James is the author she brings most to mind. She is [as] responsive to mystery as she is to the mysterious inner matters of her characters' minds. Brookner has written a novel of...suffering and of momentary but somehow very large triumph."-- Frederick Busch, Chicago Tribune
"Brookner's usual satiny prose is carefully disciplined, beguilingly smooth.... A study of character [that] skillfully evokes the vicissitudes of friendship."-- New York Newsday