The anti-heroine of the book, Edith, describes her hotel room as drab. She might as well have been describing the whole novel. There are no redeeming qualities here. There is not a single lovable character in the entire story. These are our choices: Mrs. Pusey and her daughter, both of them so divine that probably do not need to ever go to the bathroom, Monica and her obnoxious dog, the caricature of Mme. de Bonneuil, the hotelier and his airs of grandeur, and slimy Mr. Neville. We also hear about Penelope, who happens to be Edith's neighbor and best friend, and we can only feel sorry for Edith. Of course, that sorrow lasts for about 2 seconds, because Edith is a vocational doormat. The descriptions of place are stuffy, and the sky is gray all the time! The ending is depressing, because nothing happens to Edith. She does not become a better, stronger person after her vacation. She stays the same way, being a passive, boring pushover. What I want to know is what the judges of the Booker prize were thinking! Maybe the competition that year was even more terrible.