Books Magazine

Next Up: The Death Of The Heart

By Robert Bruce @robertbruce76

The brief, enjoyable reading that was Red Harvest is now behind me, and it’s time to move on to my 71st book. Next up on the Time list is The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen.

Bowen tells the story of a 16-year-old orphan girl who moves to London to live with her half-brother and ends up falling in love with her sister-in-law’s friend. That’s a brief one-sentence description, but here are a few quick facts about The Death of the Heart and Elizabeth Bowen:

  •  Published in 1938, The Death of the Heart has been called a “pre-war” novel by Bowen because it “reflected the pre-war time with its high tension, increasing anxieties, and this great stress on individualism.”
  • In addition to being on the Time list, The Death of the Heart was also featured as one of the Modern Library’s top 100 modern novels.
  • The book was adapted into a TV mini-series in 1986 starring people I have never heard of.
  • Though The Death of the Heart was probably Bowen’s most famous novel, she published many others, including The Heat of the Day and Eva Trout, which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1969 and was shortlisted in 1970 for the Booker Prize.
  • Bowen died in 1973, at the age of 73, after a bout with lung cancer.

So off I go into The Death of the Heart.

I’ve heard of Elizabeth Bowen, but I’m not very familiar with her work so I’ve obviously never read this novel.

Who’s familiar with it?

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