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The Death of the Heart
Publisher: Anchor BooksFormat: Paperback
Elizabeth Bowen is widely considered to be one of the greatest novelists of this century. While her novels masquerade as witty comedies of manners, set in the lavish country houses of the Anglo-Irish or in elegant London homes, they mine the depths of private tragedy with a subtle ferocity and psychological complexity reminiscent of Henry James.The Death of the Heart, a story of adolescent love and the betrayal of innocence, is perhaps Bowen's best-known book. When sixteen-year-old Portia, recently orphaned, arrives in London and falls for an attractive cad — a seemingly carefree young man who is as much an outsider in the sophisticated and politely treacherous world of 1930s drawing rooms as she is — their collision threatens to shatter the carefully built illusions of everyone around them. As she deftly and delicately exposes the cruelty that lurks behind the polished surfaces of conventional society, Bowen reveals herself as a masterful novelist who combines a sharp sense of humor with a devastating gift for divining human motivations.
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