When eleven-year-old Henrietta arrives at the Fishers’ well-appointed house in Paris, she is prepared to spend her day between trains looked after by an old friend of her grandmother’s. Henrietta longs to see a few sights in the foreign city; little does she know what fascinating secrets the Fisher house itself contains.
For Henrietta finds that her visit coincides with that of Leopold, an intense child who has come to Paris to be introduced to the mother he has never known. In the course of a single day, the relations between Leopold, Henrietta’s agitated hostess Naomi Fisher, Leopold’s mysterious mother, his dead father, and the dying matriarch in bed upstairs, come to light slowly and tantalizingly. And when Henrietta leaves the house that evening, it is in possession of the kind of grave knowledge usually reserved only for adults. One of Elizabeth Bowen’s most artful and psychologically acute novels, The House in Paris is a timeless masterpiece of nuance and atmosphere, and represents the very best of Bowen’s celebrated oeuvre.
“Her most atmospheric book . . . very eerie and richly descriptive.” –Daily Telegraph (London)
“Bowen has flashes of the authentic Jamesian subtlety . . . [and] her own disturbing, searching presentation of complex human relationships. . . . Strikingly terse and original.” –The Christian Science Monitor
“A compelling story, inspired with a deep insight into human nature.” –Times Literary Supplement (London)