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.
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.
"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