To the North (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)

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9780140183061: To the North (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)

A young woman’s secret love affair leads to a violent and tragic act in one of Elizabeth Bowen’s most acclaimed novels. To the North centers on two young women in 1920s London, the recently widowed Cecilia Summers and her late husband's sister, Emmeline. Drawn to each other in the wake of their loss, the two set up house together and gradually become more entwined than they know.

But the comfortable refuge they have made is "a house built on sand"; both realize it cannot last. While Cecilia, capricious and unsure if she can really love anyone, moves reluctantly toward a second marriage, Emmeline, a gentle and independent soul, is surprised to find the calm tenor of her life disturbed for the first time by her attraction to the predatory Mark Linkwater. Bowen’s psychological acuity is on full display in a conclusion that plumbs the depths of this seemingly detached young woman in a single, life-shattering moment.

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From the Back Cover:

Set in London during the twenties, this fine novel centres on the lives of two young women, the recently widowed Cecilia Summers and her sister-in-law Emmeline. Cecilia, capricious and unable to really love anyone, moves reluctantly towards a second marriage to the kind, passionless Julian Tower. Emmeline, gentle but independent, is surprised to find the calm tenor of her life disturbed by her attraction to the predatory Mark Linkwater. At first she is able to accept their love-affair on Mark's terms but, in the pain of misunderstanding, Emmeline reveals her vulnerability in a violent and tragic act. Through delicate counterpoint, Elizabeth Bowen reveals her insight into the obscure motives that dictate human behaviour and explores the emotional chasm between men and women.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Bowen was born in Dublin in 1899. She wrote many acclaimed short stories and novels, including The Heat of the Day, The Death of the Heart, The Last September, and Eva Trout. She was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1948. She died in 1973.

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