For all its glory England is a land for rich and healthy people. Also they should not be too old.
Sigmund Freud, London, 1938
Epigraph to Strangers
Some authors fill the opening pages of their novels with often incoherent quotations from other literary texts. Brookner rarely required such scaffolding, and when she did - in Family and Friends, A Closed Eye and Strangers - she selected from the best: Goethe, James, Freud. The Freud quote, probably from one of his letters, is a brilliant find, and, along with the playful Author's Note that follows, sets the tone for a novel that promises to be different from what has gone before, edgier and, if this were possible, even more unconsoling.