Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Death of the Heart (by Elizabeth Bowen)

Book #50, and a really good one. Definitely adding it to at least the honorable mentions category of my favorite books of the year.

It's a modernist psychological novel about a 16-year-old orphan living with her half-brother and sister-in-law in London, and it reminds me (very oddly) of National Velvet in terms of feeling very specific and real and strange and un-formulaic. I don't know how to explain the mood or ambiguity of the novel... just that I liked it.

Probably the more relevant comparison is Henry James. It does feel like Washington Square in terms of its subtlety. It's a coming of age story, but an unorthodox one. I definitely recommend it.



Blogger Beth said...

Have you read The Last September? I bet you would like it. (I did not love it, but I concede that it is beautifully written, just not my thing. Also like Henry James!)

5:46 AM  
Blogger Lori said...

The House in Paris is also really good.

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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2:32 PM  
Blogger mo pie said...

Ooh, thanks for the recs! I will definitely get those. I adore Henry James even when he's being very Jamesean, so I'm excited to know Bowen keeps being Boweny!

2:34 PM  

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