From the window all that could be seen was a receding area of grey. It was to be supposed that beyond the grey garden, which seemed to sprout nothing but the stiffish leaves of some unfamiliar plant, lay the vast grey lake, spreading like an anaesthetic towards the invisible further shore . . . .And the book continues on in that same vein – at least as far as I've read. Of course, that's classic Brookner, and I love her novels. But they can be gloomy in the extreme. Take this bit, a little further along:
Her walk along the lake shore reminded her of nothing so much as those silent walks one takes in dreams, and in which unreason and inevitability go hand in hand. As in dreams she felt both despair and a sort of doomed curiosity, as if she must pursue this path until its purpose were revealed to her. The cast of her mind on this evening, and the aspect of the path itself, seemed to promise an unfavourable outcome: shock, betrayal, or at the very least a train missed, an important occasion in rags, an appearance in the dock on an unknown charge. . . . [p. 21]Fortunately, I'm also reading Rest in Pieces, by Rita Mae Brown (and Sneaky Pie Brown, of course) – one of her Mrs. Murphy mysteries. So when the Brookner becomes just too too depressing, I can get back to watching Mrs. Murphy (who is a pet cat, in case you're not familiar with the series) digging up scattered body parts in the surprisingly bloody little hamlet of Crozet, Virginia. Lots more laughs in that one. No, really, there are.