Kat's Reviews > The Death of the Heart

The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen
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's review
Apr 04, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: classics
Read in April, 2012

This was my second time through this perfectly crafted novel, a psychological drama about Portia, a 16-year-old girl who, having lost both parents, comes to stay with her much older half-brother and his wife in the London of the mid-1930s. Portia's extreme innocence clashes with the highly sophisticated and artificial way of being that her hosts maintain. Though nothing externally dramatic takes place in this novel, it is never slow, and the characters are richly rendered. Most of them, admittedly, are easy to dislike, yet in most cases Bowen manages to give us a glimpse of the past hurts each has suffered. Her prose style has been called Jamesian. It is elegant and precise, but there are some sentences that do have to be read twice. It's not a book that can be rushed through. But it's an intensely beautiful novel.
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