In The Heat of the Day, Elizabeth Bowen brilliantly recreates the tense and dangerous atmosphere of London during the bombing raids of World War II.
Many people have fled the city, and those who stayed behind find themselves thrown together in an odd intimacy born of crisis. Stella Rodney is one of those who chose to stay. But for her, the sense of impending catastrophe becomes acutely personal when she discovers that her lover, Robert, is suspected of selling secrets to the enemy, and that the man who is following him wants Stella herself as the price of his silence. Caught between these two men, not sure whom to believe, Stella finds her world crumbling as she learns how little we can truly know of those around us.
About the Author
Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973), an Anglo-Irish novelist, essayist, and short story writer, was born in Dublin. Her family spent winters in Dublin and summers in Bowen's Court, their ancestral home in County Cork. At the age of seven Bowen moved to England, where she married Alan Cameron in 1923. The couple divided their time between London, where Cameron held a position at the BBC, and Bowen's Court. Bowen's first book, "Encounters" (1923), was followed by several further collections of short stories and nine novels, including "The Hotel" (1927), "The Last September" (1929), "Friends and Relations" (1931), "To the North" (1932), "The Death of the Heart" (1938), and "The Heat of the Day" (1949), a tale of espionage set in London during World War II. An ardent supporter of the British war effort, Bowen volunteered her services to the British Ministry of Information during World War II, and was commissioned as an undercover agent to investigate whether the Irish public was wavering in its support for Irish neutrality. Elizabeth Bowen was awarded the CBE in 1948 and made a Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature in 1965. Her last novel, "Eva Trout "(1968), won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.
"Imagine a Graham Greene thriller projected through the sensibility of Virginia Woolf." —The Atlantic Monthly
“[Bowen] startles us by sheer originality of mind and boldness of sensibility into seeking our world afresh. . . . Out of the plainest things--the drawing of a curtain--she can make something electric and urgent." --V. S. Pritchett
"Dense as a poem with symbol and suggestion. . . . The work of a writer [of] rich and winning gifts." —Time
"Miss Bowen [has] power to evoke, suggest and explore down oblique and little-frequented avenues the mysterious centers of human conduct." --The New York Times