The Death of the Heart

The Death of the Heart

Paperback - 2000
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The Death of the Heart is perhaps Elizabeth Bowen's best-known book. 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 sense of humor with a devastating gift for divining human motivations.

In this piercing story of innocence betrayed set in the thirties, the orphaned Portia is stranded in the sophisticated and politely treacherous world of her wealthy half-brother's home in London.There she encounters the attractive, carefree cad Eddie. To him, Portia is at once child and woman, and her fears her gushing love. To her, Eddie is the only reaason to be alive. But when Eddie follows Portia to a sea-side resort, the flash of a cigarette lighter in a darkened cinema illuminates a stunning romantic betrayal--and sets in motion one of the most moving and desperate flights of the heart in modern literature.
Published: New York : Anchor Books, 2000, c1966.
Edition: 1st Anchor Books ed.
ISBN: 9780385720175
Branch Call Number: F BOW
Characteristics: 418 p. ;,21 cm.


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Dec 03, 2017

I wanted to like this book, but the author's use of archaic English language forms sometimes made the story incomprehensible. I know the book was written in 1938, but having read several authors of the same era and even a century earlier, I found the wording and thought process to be unnecessarily obscure. I had hoped to have discovered a new author to read, but for me this book was a disappointment. Kristi & Abby Tabby

Manateestarz Jun 02, 2016

Well, I finished it.
I think any fan of Downtown Abbey would do well to read this book. For one thing you learn more about the upper classes in England and their language. You realize how much speech has changed since the 1930's. If the characters in Downton Abbey really talked the way these characters do instead of introducing anachronisms like,"he wears many hats" and "learning curve",viewers would be lost.

Sep 12, 2013

This novel tells the story of 16 year old Portia, recently orphaned, who moves from the Continent to London to live with her half-brother and his wife. She falls "in love" with an empty 23 year old and come to feel betrayed by all adults. Her fate is left unclear. Bowen cracks the veneer of upper middle class English life and its illusions. A classic of its kind.

Jun 03, 2013

This is the kind of book I’m supposed to be getting more out of as I work on becoming more well-read. But I just didn’t get anything out of this, not even a good review. This is supposed to be a classic, or at least an important, book from the 1930s, but it just made me drowsy and dopey plodding through it and it was hard to pick up on the subtleties going on. And in 1930s British parlour rooms, it’s all about subtleties.


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Jun 03, 2013

Having put his glass down on the carpet, Thomas boldly swung his legs up on to the bed and stretched out on [Anna's] immaculate quilt. “I don’t think that bath has done you much good. Why can’t you just dress and why can’t I just lie here? We don’t have to keep on saying anything. However much of a monster you may be, I feel more natural with you than I feel with more natural people – if there are such things.”

Jun 03, 2013

"I suppose you do know that that ruins my quilt?”


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