In a writing career that spanned the 1920s to the 1960s, Anglo-Irish author Elizabeth Bowen created a rich and nuanced body of work in which she enlarged the comedy of manners with her own stunning brand of emotional and psychological depth.
In A World of Love, an uneasy group of relations are living under one roof at Montefort, a decaying manor in the Irish countryside. When twenty-year-old Jane finds in the attic a packet of love letters written years ago by Guy, her mother’s one-time fiance who died in World War I, the discovery has explosive repercussions. It is not clear to whom the letters are addressed, and their appearance begins to lay bare the strange and unspoken connections between the adults now living in the house. Soon, a girl on the brink of womanhood, a mother haunted by love lost, and a ruined matchmaker with her own claim on the dead wage a battle that makes the ghostly Guy as real a presence in Montefort as any of the living.
|Publisher:||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.97(h) x 0.39(d)|
About the Author
Elizabeth Bowen was born in Dublin in 1899, the only child of an Irish lawyer and landowner. Her book Bowen's Court (1942) is the history of her family and their house, in County Cork. Throughout her life, she divided her time between London and Bowen's Court, which she inherited. She wrote many acclaimed novels and short story collections, was awarded the CBE in 1948, and was made a Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature in 1965. She died in 1973.
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Excerpted from "A World of Love"
Copyright © 2003 Elizabeth Bowen.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
"A World of Love" is set in post war Ireland. ( I believe) It is the story of an uneasy extended family sharing an old decrepit manor house on a large working farm in the countryside. The husband and wife, Fred and Lilia, who run the farm have 2 daughters, Jane (of college age) and Maud, much younger. The husband is a cousin to the fifth occupant of the manor, Antonia, who owns the property. There is constant tension in the interactions of all of the primary characters.As the story opens, Jane has found some letters in the attic of the manor. They are love letters neither addressed nor signed and the plotline of the story is to find out who they are from and who they were to. There are suspicions on the parts of all three adults. The book is beautifully written and the language has a lyrical fluidity to it that made simply the reading of it a pleasure. The characters are full and complete, and whether you like them or not, it is difficult not to be sympathetic with them. They show us in an unmistakable manner how the power of living in stagnation can truly disable one's life. I liked this book very much until the very end. I felt it ended too abruptly and the ending left me hanging. I am certain that I must have missed something along the way, but I totally didn't understand the outcome of the plot.There was one line in particular that yet has me fascinated: "But were there not those who said that everything has already happened, and that one's lookings-forward are really memories?"