Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Fraud is a 1992 novel by Anita Brookner. I love this author and am quite pleased that she is not only prolific but is still alive. She was born in 1928. This book deals a lot with identity, sacrifice, aging, and mourning, and so there were sad moments for me; but it is an uplifting book -even inspiring.

from the back of the book:
At the heart of Anita Brookner's new novel lies a double mystery: What 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 Ana'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.

There is tea throughout this book. And coffee. It's a thread than wanders from beginning to the very end, so I've decided to enter the book into the T(ea) Tuesday festivities at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog. Here's my favorite tea quote:
I am homesick, she thought with surprise. Homesick for that dark flat, which I have never much liked, homesick for my own chair and my footstool, for that brown kitchen teapot which I bought from Pelham Street (Beatrice swore that it made the best tea, and she was right: I often enjoyed a cup in the basement with her), homesick above all for my bedroom, so gloomy in daytime, so comfortingly womblike at night.

There are a couple of artworks mentioned. Degas's Jeunes Spartiates s'exerçant à la guerre is mentioned, as is Titian's Sacred and Profane Love:

There's a reference to a remark by Baudelaire "that he found it difficult to breathe when faced with a portrait by Ingres." There's a piece of a poem in French, which I had to google to translate; but it seems to be Paul Valéry's The Graveyard By The Sea:
After such arrogance, after so much strange
Idleness -strange, yet full of potency-
favorite non-tea-related quotes:
But there was too little to do when one was old, and feeling one's age, reluctant to venture further than the shops and the library, and then faced with a long afternoon at home. If she was at all nostalgic it was for her earlier vigour, when she had thought nothing of being out all day. She did not mind the silence, for she had come to cherish it, but there was a certain lack of human nourishment about her days that distressed her. Not excessively, for she was not an excessive woman, and not at all given to unnecessary regrets. She simply wished for the occasional conversation, the occasional stimulus of another personality. She was careful not to brood on this deficiency, but rather to face it squarely. She was, she knew, fortunate: she was not in need, did not depend on her children, had suffered no serious illnesses. Nevertheless she felt she was preparing mentally for her own death....
Those who love us are the most difficult to withstand.
The Independent has a spoiler-filled review and says, "Fraud, her 12th novel in 12 years, apparently conforms to everything that one has learnt to expect". The LA Times closes its review with this:
Fraud and denial, often yoked together, are indeed everywhere in life, and it takes a novel like this to show just how pervasive they are. "Fraud" sneaks up on you, delivering less than it promises in terms of mystery but more in terms of insight.


  1. I didn't know Brookner had a new book out. I think I've read all of her previous ones. Well, you will probably guess what I'm going to have to do about this. LOL!


    1. This isn't new, and her last actually book was published back in 2009. But we can hope! :)

  2. I love your book review, have not read this particular author but will actually look out for her when I am next out and about to see if something takes my fancy! Happy t on Tuesday to you! Annette

  3. It's great to find an author you like and they have lots of titles. I feel like some authors just have a style that "fits" me. Then I tend to read everything they have written.
    Happy T Day!!

  4. You always have such interesting books and movie trailers to share. Much as this sounds like a goodie I already am behind with my pile of magazines and books. Happy T day!

  5. I have never head of this book, like the cover though. Great quotes in here too, liked them both. Thanks for sharing and have a good week.

  6. Thank you for sharing this with us for T today.
    Very interesting quotes and more!
    p.s. 12 books in 12 years = very prolific!

  7. Oh wow. What a great entry for T this week. Tea and coffee throughout would make this an ideal book to read. And the idea of fraud and denial seems to be a tale I might truly enjoy.

    Thanks for sharing this book with us for T this Tuesday.

  8. I have not read any from this author. Thank you for sharing will try to check in the library.

  9. Great post, love to hear about books people are reading.
    Happy T-day........love the quote from the book about the tea pot.

  10. love the quotes, and of course the mention of great paintings...sounds like a good book! ♥

  11. Thank you for the wonderful book review. I've not heard of this author but i will definitely have to check her out. Happy T day! Hugs! deb

  12. I don't believe I've read anything by her. Sounds interesting.
    Happy T-Day! :)

  13. Just put the book on reserve at the library!
    thanks for visiting

  14. I'm not familiar with this author, but this sounds like something I might enjoy! Thanks for the review on T Day!

  15. I had written this long, long comment, then got kicked off the internet. Sometimes I hate my computer and/or ISP.

    You are so sweet to offer to return to see my comments, but I prefer to reply on your blog. As many people as I visit each day, I would hate to have to return to see if they had commented to my comment. But I'm more than willing to return to answer any questions you have of me.

    The challenge pieces I make using my used file folders, I keep in a 3-ring binder. I have two challenges in the same binder, and there is plenty of room for more of these. That means I may continue the Craft Barn challenge, if I like their next year's theme, but I don't think I'll stay with Journal 52 next year. These challenge pieces are for me to try new techniques or test my skills. They are NOT intended to go to others. They are made quickly and I don't spend a lot (time and money) on them.

    My altered playing cards go in a baseball card holder. Each page has 9 slots and I place them back to back from that same week. Those I'll also keep, because I have gotten unwanted gesso on the card faces. Being the anal person I am, I would never share them with anyone else.

    Someday I hope to sell some of my art, especially my assemblages and my quitlets. But for now, I'm just getting a small inventory of the better pieces together. I even considered sending you one of my abstract pieces, since you were so supportive of me in September, but they are on two sheets of cardboard I glued together to make more stable. The backs are not decorated, and the spray glue I used came apart when I added water to my abstracts. So, I gave up on that idea, too. I can't even give them as gifts unless I find an economical way to frame them.

    Thanks for asking. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.

  16. hi found you by way of Altered Book Lover . . .
    i was leaving a comment on Elizabeth's recent post, and i read your comment, and must confess i have had the same question for E for years . . . but haven't gotten around to asking . . . so i will look forward to her reply.
    but in the meantime, i hopped over here. and am glad i did. . . . i love to read.
    SCORE! anyway. i am now a follower . . . thanks.
    ps: i am an artist, i have a blog. do stop by sometime would love for you to see what i do

    1. Your art is intriguing, and I've subscribed to your rss feed. I love that embellished rooster! I'm struck by your alphabet blocks quoting John Lennon: "Everything is ok...." Sweet :)

  17. This sounds like a great book. I have put it on my wishlist. Mystery and insight, must be great!

    1. I'd feel safe recommending anything by this author. There's just always something there for me.

  18. That sounds like a good book. I might have to check it out. At the moment I'm hurrying to finish Jewish Luck by Leslie Adler before it's due at the library on Friday. It's a really good book so far...

    Happy Belated T Day!