In Falling Slowly, Anita Brookner brilliantly evokes the origins, nature, and consequences of human isolation. As middle age settles upon the Sharpe sisters, regret over chances not taken casts a shadow over their contented existence. Beatrice, a talented if uninspired pianist, gives up performing, a decision motivated by stiffening joints and the sudden realization that her art has never brought her someone to love. Miriam, usually calm and lucid, slides headlong into an affair with a charming, handsome–and very married–man. And as each woman awakens to the urgency of her loneliness, illness threatens to sever them both from the one happiness they have grown to count on: each other. Painfully wise, the Sharpe sisters embody the conflicting yearnings Jane Austen delineated in Sense and Sensibility.
About Falling Slowly
The brilliant Anita Brookner, praised by The New York Times as "one of the finest novelists of her generation," now gives us a stunning story of two sisters and the strange patterns of identity and love. The Sharpe sisters have lived a careful and contemplative existence. Miriam is a translator of French texts and Beatrice a moderately successful pianist. Their lives of quiet sophistication are suddenly interrupted by several complicated men: Max, Beatrice’s agent; Simon, a handsome and charming married man; and Tom Rivers, a journalist who befriends Miriam. These men create disorder in the Sharpe sisters’ controlled lives as Miriam, the unromantic stoic of the two, begins an affair and Beatrice’s career undergoes an unexpected change. The exquisite writing, affecting characters, and astonishing psychological perceptions for which Anita Brookner is famous are evident on every page of this beautiful novel by a modern master.