Incidents in the Rue Laugier

by Anita Brookner

Hardcover, 1995




New York : Random House, 1995.


Demure Maud Gonthier expects the holiday at her aunt's house near Meaux to be no different from any other - an endless round of tennis with silly neighbours, walks in the garden, and familial manipulations. But in the torpid late-summer heat, Maud meets David Tyler and falls for his sensual charm.

User reviews

LibraryThing member John
Some have criticized her for being a formula writer: more of the same in slightly different settings or packages, but if this is formula, more writers should aspire to it. I like her because she is a psychological writer. She weaves wonderfully between the perceptions of self versus how we are perceived and the gaps and the traps that exist on both levels. She shows, again in this book, that there are no straight lines in life. One can have a vision and determination, but always along the way there will be circumstances and decisions and new channels in personal relationships, beliefs, attitudes, ways of living that could not have been foreseen or fixed. And accommodation. This story is full of it: how two people, starting out from entirely different perspectives and desires, intersect at a point in life and find, for better or ill, or is it for a lack of courage, that they can strike an accommodation that suits both. But the price is high. For Edward, it is the sense that despite her devotion, affection, and support, Maud does not really love him as he thinks she did the irresponsible, irrepressible Tyler who seduced and beguiled her as her first lover. But that is part of the conundrum, because Maud finds, on seeing Tyler again years later, that she does not love him as even she thought, and as she did at a time. Maud is in some ways pathetic. Again the force of circumstance and accommodation that lead her to marry Edward even when she discovers that she is not pregnant by Tyler because the marriage and the conventionality is her atonement for falling from grace. And yet, to the outside world (a third layer of perception) they are a well-suited couple and in the end there is a strong need for each other, unrequited from Edward's point of view, but he is mistaken and that is his tragedy because he lets it grind him down even to death. Again, from Brookner, the sense of missed opportunities because of misunderstanding and miscommunication, sometimes intentional, sometimes not, but all building the walls that separate, that define a life, and become too high to scale, or become so much of the fabric of life and perception that they are not even seen as walls.… (more)
LibraryThing member nocto
This got off to a really slow start. First there is an unnecessary introductory chapter and then there is a long bit about the family history before the main character is born. When the book finally gets going about a quarter of the way in it quickly turns into a marvellous life story.
Mostly it's a story about Maud from Dijon who doesn't quite fit into the social world that her mother, who is something like a poor relation out of an historical novel, wants her to be part of. The thing that seemed oddest though was that several mentions were made of it being 1971 when the core of the story takes place. The characters act like they come from an earlier time, and the timeline of the end of the story goes well past 1995 when it was written. Neither of which are that odd really now I come to write them down!
I like Brookner's writing but find it hard to get going with sometimes.
… (more)
LibraryThing member William345
Hot stuff, hot stuff
Can't get enough
Hot stuff, hot stuff, can't get enough
LibraryThing member majorbabs
My other favorite book by her. The other is Hotel du Lac.




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