- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
All the while Bethesda is festering with hatred for Mathew's pregnant wife Mary, and putting off her faithful swain's long-awaited proposal of marriage, she's obviously hurtling toward one of Hart's floridly cryptic calamities. Once the blow finally falls, Bethesda is bereft of her mother, her husband, and her object of irresistible desire—all vanished rather unsatisfactorily into thin air—and left languishing in a convent with perhaps too much leisure to reflect on her fatal vocation for art and romance, as the novel trails off into a flurry of sad apothegms.
Hart's extravagantly understated prose remainspeculiarly inhospitable to characters and events, which enter her story as furtive interlopers to be dealt with as summarily as possible. Its natural condition, like that of Pater or Poe, seems to be the high-sounding aphorism, 'In repetition the history of an old sin achieves an almost biblical resonance' whose dominance turns this novel into a commonplace book.