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Posts tagged ‘elizabeth bowen’

Book #71: The Death Of The Heart

Call me old-fashioned, but I’m not the kind of guy who enjoys reading teenage love stories on my beach vacation, which will be here in a few weeks.

So it’s wonderful timing that I’m wrapping up The Death of the Heart today—just in time to leave it at home when I go on vacation. Won’t The Lord of the Rings be the perfect read for the beach?

I took way too long to finish this book. At first, I thought the novel would be a slog—the opening didn’t exactly give me warm and fuzzies about enjoying The Death of the Heart. But it improved. The novel gets better. Elizabeth Bowen is obviously in her element writing this book. Everything about the story feels natural and unforced. Read more


Character Development In The Death Of The Heart

I don’t know what to do with The Death of the Heart.

It’s a novel that lulls me to sleep, then quickly pulls me back in. It’s a novel with little action and large amounts of character development. I’m still not sure how I’ll rank The Death of the Heart when I review it next week.

If you’re looking for a glowing review of the novel, check out Charlotte Freeman’s take at The Rumpus. She calls The Death of the Heart “the last book she loved,” and has this to say about it. Read more

Why Do I Feel Uncomfortable Reading Teenage Love Stories?

As I’m wrapping up The Death of the Heart—I know, it’s taken me forever—I’ve noticed how uncomfortable I am reading teenage love stories.

This one tells the story of Portia, a young 16-year-old girl who moves to London to live with her brother and his wife, only to fall in love with an older 23-year-old creepy guy who is a friend of the family. He’s essentially the early 20th Century of a frat boy douche bag.  Read more

Should A Dead Author’s Private Letters Become Public?

One of the few things that stood out to me while I was reading Possession was this issue of publishing letters of dead authors.

The long-winding story in Possession is partly about this issue, and it touches on a real situation we’ve seen many times over. For example, excerpts from Elizabeth Bowen’s love letters to Charles Ritchie (and many diary entries about him) were published in 2009 as Love’s Civil War: Elizabeth Bowen and Charles Ritchie, Letters and Diaries 1941-1973.

The book’s editor, Victoria Glendinning discusses how she came across the letters in this Guardian article: Read more

Elizabeth Bowen Channels Her Inner Stephen King

Obviously, I’m not reading short stories right now. But I have to say that Elizabeth Bowen’s short story called The Demon Lover has me intrigued.

The Demon Lover is one of Bowen’s most popular short stories, and she had many. The story sounds very Stephen King-esque. Read more

The Bright Side Of The Death Of The Heart

I try my best to be fair about the books I’m reading. After all, if I’m reading through all 101 of these novels, I want to do everything I can to enjoy them. Otherwise, it would just be a waste of time.

I started off my experience with The Death of the Heart by sharing the novel’s opening with you guys. The large majority of responses, including my initial impression, were negative.

But, hey, that’s just one paragraph of a 450 page novel, albeit an important one.

Anyway, what else is in store for you in the first 150 pages of The Death of the Heart? I pulled together from of my favorite passages to counterbalance all the negativity toward that opening paragraph.

Here are a few: Read more

Elizabeth Bowen On Character Development

There’s an old BBC interview from 1956 with Elizabeth Bowen, author of The Death of the Heart, in which she discusses the importance of strong characters.

She poses this question: Read more

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