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Eva Trout, Elizabeth Bowen's last novel, epitomizes her bold exploration of the territory between the comedy of manners and cutting social commentary.
Orphaned at a young age, Eva has found a home of sorts in Worcestershire with her former schoolteacher, Iseult Arbles, and Iseult's husband, Eric. From a safe distance in London, her legal guardian, Constantine, assumes that all's well. But Eva's flighty, romantic nature hasn't entirely clicked with the Arbles household, and Eva is plotting to escape. When she sets out to hock her Jaguar and disappear without a trace, she unwittingly leaves a paper trail for her various custodians and all kinds of trouble to follow.
"Bowen is magnificent when she writes about conspiracy, duplicity and ambiguity, and her achievement . . . is extremely impressive." –Margaret Drabble
"[Elizabeth Bowen] is what happened after Bloomsbury . . . the link that connects Virginia Woolf with Iris Murdoch and Muriel Spark." –Victoria Glendinning
"It is as though Henry James has been superimposed upon Jane Austen." –Walter Allen, The Modern Novel