Skip to main content

Leaving Home: A Novel by Anita Brookner

At twenty-six, Emma Roberts comes to the painful realization that if she is ever to become truly independent, she must leave her comfortable London flat and venture out into the wider world. This entails not only breaking free from a claustrophobic relationship with her reclusive, widowed mother but also shedding her inherited tendency toward melancholy. Emma yearns to make friends, attend parties, and have love affairs like other women, but to her these things seem forever out of reach; that is, until her college tutors find her a scholarship to study seventeenth-century garden design in Paris.

Once settled in a small Paris hotel, Emma befriends Francoise Desnoyers, a vibrant young woman who is as confident as Emma is tentative, as provocative as Emma is reserved, and as worldly as Emma is naive. On a weekend visit to Francoise's beautiful country chateau, L'Ermitage, Emma is drawn into Francoise's problematic relationship with her imperious mother, who demands that Francoise marry a rich family friend to secure their future.

For Emma, the glimpse into Francoise's turbulent life affords her a newfound and welcome respect for her own. But as she begins to date and to feel at home in her new city, Emma must make a decision: settle for a life of comfortable relationships and familiar routines, or hold out for "that evanescent hope of a good outcome which never deserts one, and which should never be abandoned." (see dust jacket)

Anita Brookner writes in a language filled of thoughtful melancholy which mirrors the character of her heroine, Emma. Written on a first person, it unravels gently the inner musings (or more like the psychological dreary analysis) of a young woman on a threshold of a life open to possibilities but her rather cautious and timid nature allays the longings of freeing herself. It is quite hard to be always torn in two. I found much affinity to the heroine as she is more attuned to the internal workings of herself rather than projecting and acting it out but she is not out of hopes and dreams either.

This is a book of acquired taste definitely, as most of the author's works have themes of sad and melancholic women, and would most likely appeal to loners (like me) but I admire how Brookner breaks down thoughts into something fragile and airy. It's like she opens a little window to how the mind churns as it contemplates one phase of life to the next, from one decision to the other whereby it remains unsure till the end. The book also explores the ideals one has of life and where one imagines it would lead, where time can only tell if one ever gets to reach it or if one just settle for what life figured out at present. Perhaps a person may end up wanting more from life and perhaps not at all, only resigned to fate.

Title: "Leaving Home"
Author: Anita Brookner
Genre: Literary, Contemporary
Published: 2007 Hardcover
Publisher: Random House
Rating: ♨♨♨  (3 cups: There's a certain lack of warmth and of heart in the story for the heroine engulfs herself in passive sadness which makes her appear cold but the lyrical prose of the author makes for a lovely reading. Don't expect for major plot lines and dramatic turns however. It is just a slow-paced reading, an articulation of a passive mind and of continuous musings.)


Popular posts from this blog

Review Post: Fool Me Once by Catherine Bybee

Rating/Review: ☕☕☕☕ 1/2 (4.5 cups, this romantic suspense will give new meaning to The First Wives Club)
You never know what you really would be getting when reading a Catherine Bybee book.  On the outside, each book can definitely hold its own as a great contemporary romance novel.  Read a little bit further, you get well-defined, multilayered characters and a romantic suspense in the making. Pretty soon you will be amazed on the intricate storyline balanced well with the main characters developing romance.  Fool Me Once is definitely a Catherine Bybee book.  The first in her new series, First Wives,  Fool Me Once is also a spinoff from her popular Weekday Bride series.  And yet again, Ms. Bybee delivers in her great characters, well thought out plot and melding her two series together without one overpowering the other.
The story starts out as the head of Alliance and their legal go to person, Lori try to help one of their client who unexpectedly lost her husband.  To get her away …

Spotlight Tour: A Sky Full of Stars by Samantha Chase

The stars are about to align in the newest Shaughnessy brothers romance!
WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE Brilliant astrophysicist Dr. Owen Shaughnessy feels more connected to the cosmos than to people. He’s great with calculations, but when he leads a team of scientists to study a famous meteor shower, he doesn’t factor in his free-spirited artist assistant Brooke Matthews.
LOVE CAN DAZZLE YOU Polar opposites in personality, the friction between them threatens to derail the project. But the beauty and mystery of the night sky draw Owen and Brooke together—and she’s going to surprise him in ways the stars never could.

Amazon: B&N: iBooks:


“That was…interesting.” “I never thought I’d see those two mediums used together.” “I may have to stab my own eyes out to make sure I never see it again,” Brooke said and then shuddered. They had just left the art gallery, and she waited until they were at the corner before looking at Owen. “I…

Review & Excerpt Tour: My Fair Duchess:Dukes Behaving Badly by Megan Frampton

An unexpected duchess proves that behaving  badly isn't exclusive to the Dukedom.

MY FAIR DUCHESS Dukes Behaving Badly #5 Megan Frampton Releasing Feb 28, 2017 Avon Books

In Megan Frampton's most recent installment of The Dukes Behaving Badly series, an unexpected duchess proves that behaving badly isn't exclusive to the Dukedom.
The Unexpected Duchess
Archibald Salisbury, son of a viscount, war hero, and proficient in the proper ways of aristocratic society, has received orders for his most challenging mission: Genevieve, Duchess of Blakesley. How she inherited a duchy isn’t his problem. Turning her into a perfect duchess is. But how can he keep his mind on business when her beauty entices him toward pleasure?
It was impossible, unprecedented…and undeniably true. Genevieve is now a “duke”, or, rather, a duchess. So what is she to do when the ton eyes her every move, hoping she’ll make a mistake? Genevieve knows she has brains and has sometimes been told she has beauty, but, out of …