Friday, January 08, 2010


A World of Love, Elizabeth Bowen, Alfred A Knopf Inc, 1955, 188 pp

This is the second book I've read by Elizabeth Bowen. (The first was The Heat of the Day, 1949.) She is not easy to read because her sentences are hard to follow and in this novel there was not much of a story.

The setting is a decrepit Irish country house inhabited by a fading family of unhappy or disillusioned people. Having visited Ireland some years ago (in fact, I acquired this book in a used bookstore there), and because Bowen's descriptive writing is so sharp, I could see every scene in the story.

Jane, the twenty-year-old daughter of the family, finds a packet of letters in the attic which opens the world of love for everyone in the house. All of their back stories come to light with the major damage to their hearts having been caused by World War I.

So it was a beautifully told story but I found it hard to care about any of the characters.

(As far as I can tell, A World of Love is out of print, even in the Random House reprint edition, so you will have to check your library or used book provider.)

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