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.
"A witty, lucid, and beautiful psychological novel.. . . By far her best book."
--The New Yorker
"Bowen is a major writer. . . . She is what happened after Bloomsbury . . . the link that connects Virginia Woolf with Iris Murdoch and Muriel Spark." --Victoria Glendinning
"Bowen writes with both art and skillful artifice. . . . [The] quality of restraint, of the unsaid, gives her novel its curious tautness and intensity." --The New York Times
"[The Death of the Heart] manages to make a major statement about human character. . . . We finish the book with that sense fiction nowadays rarely communicates, of life's having been mysteriously enlarged." --The New Yorker