Friday, June 15, 2007

To The North

When I picked up To The North by Elizabeth Bowen, it was primarily because it was a Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics Edition. The distinctive cover immediately caught my eye on the shelf of the used bookstore. But I'd never heard of her or the book.

I had a hard time getting into it. To The North is the story of Cecilia and her sister-in-law Emmeline. Cecilia is widowed but has a suitor in the form of the rather passionless Julian Tower. Emmeline, quiet and gentle, is surprised by her attraction to the "predatory" Mark Linkwater. Bowen's writing style is a bit flowery for me and took a little getting used to. Here's an example:
But intense experience interposed like a veil between herself and these objects. When he spoke or approached it was for an instant as though the veil parted; something unknown came through -- though he was all the time formlessly near her like heat or light. His being was written all over her; if he was not, she was not: then they both dissipated and hung in the air. But still something restlessly ate up the air, like a flame burning.
It was a little odd at first, but her style grew on me. Once I got to the halfway point, I had a hard time putting it down. There are several other novels and short-story collections of hers available, and I would definitely read her again.

1 comment:

Rodrigo said...

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