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The Little Girls

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Paperback published by Anchor (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
In 1914, three eleven-year-old girls buried a box in a thicket on the coast of England, shortly before World War I sent their lives on divergent paths. Nearly fifty years later, a series of mysteriously-worded classified ads brings the women reluctantly together again. Dinah has grown from a chubby, bossy girl to a beautiful, eccentric widow. The clever, reticent Clare has blossomed into an imperious entrepreneur of independent means. And Sheila—who was once the pretty princess of her small universe—has weathered disappointed aspirations to become a chic and glossily correct housewife.

As these radically different women confront one another and their shared secrets, the hard-won complacencies of their present selves are irrevocably shattered. In a novel as subtle and compelling as a mystery, Elizabeth Bowen explores the buried revelations—and the dangers—that attend the summoning up of childhood and the long-concealed scars of the past.
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In 1914, three eleven-year-old girls buried a box in a thicket on the coast of England, shortly before World War I sent their lives on divergent paths. Nearly fifty years later, a series of mysteriously-worded classified ads brings the women reluctantly together again. Dinah has grown from a chubby, bossy girl to a beautiful, eccentric widow. The clever, reticent Clare has blossomed into an imperious entrepreneur of independent means. And Sheila—who was once the pretty princess of her small universe—has weathered disappointed aspirations to become a chic and glossily correct housewife.

As these radically different women confront one another and their shared secrets, the hard-won complacencies of their present selves are irrevocably shattered. In a novel as subtle and compelling as a mystery, Elizabeth Bowen explores the buried revelations—and the dangers—that attend the summoning up of childhood and the long-concealed scars of the past.
Product Details
Paperback (320 pages)
Published: July 13, 2004
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Anchor
ISBN: 9781400034796
Other books byElizabeth Bowen
  • The Death of the Heart

    The Death of the Heart

    The Heat of the Day

    The Heat of the Day
    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.

    The Bazaar and Other Stories

    The Bazaar and Other Stories
    Toward the end of her life, Elizabeth Bowen claimed that "a story deals in the not-yet-thought-of but always possible." Playing with a range of circumstances—broken engagements, encounters with ghosts, brushes with crime—the stories in this collection demonstrate the virtuosity of technique that characterized all of Bowen's writing. "The Lost Hope" ranks with the best of her war stories, shattering the lives of soldiers and civilians alike and capturing the cancelled promise of a generation that came of age in the 1940s. The war can also clear a path to the future, as in "Comfort and Joy" and "The Last Bus." Bowen's characters are gripped by intense circumstances and respond either ardently or ironically or both, as in "Flowers Will Do." Sometimes the children in these stories are too wise for their age, such as the punctual protagonist of "The Unromantic Princess," and the adults occasionally behave with no insight at all. Bowen's humor ranges from the sardonic to the light-hearted. In the collection's title story, "The Bazaar," Captain Winch begs for pins, ultimately stealing them, while Lady Hottenham gives an impromptu speech that drifts agonizingly into cliché. The fairy tales, fables, and social dramas of this volume were never published together during Bowen's lifetime, and a few exist only in unfinished draft. With this collection, Bowen's gift with keen social observation is remarkably on display, echoing the keen eye of D. H. Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf, and James Joyce. Key Features:*For the first time Bowen's uncollected short stories are brought together in one volume*Showcases the diversity of Bowen's short fiction across her career*Bowen's familiar themes of marriage, travel, estrangement, disappointmen, and disinheritance*Perfectly demonstrates Bowen's mastery of the short story.

    The Last September

    The Last September

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