Has anyone read Eva Trout by Elizabeth Bowen?
Well, I have read half of it. Does that count?
I so want to like Ms. Bowen but I do struggle with her writing. The first book I read of hers, The Hotel, was about a group of guests in an Italian hotel. I enjoyed the language but couldn't really understand the hidden meanings in the dialogue. Do people really talk like that?
But back to Eva. She is a woman of twenty-four whose mother was killed in a plane crash and whose very wealthy financier father - who carted Eva all over the world with him - committed suicide. When the novel opens, Eva is on the verge of inheriting her father's fortune. Eva is a tall, uncomfortable woman who was educated by governesses. She doesn't have any friends. The only people in her life are her guardian Constantine; a former English teacher, Iseult and her husband Eric, who take Eva in to live with them; and, the vicar's family of four children.
Eva decides to leave the home of Iseult and Eric and moves - escapes - to a rather rundown house by the sea. She likes it there. It is quiet. She collects sea shells. She rides her bicycle. She enjoys the isolation.
I liked Eva in that house. It is the first place she could really call her own. Could call a home. On her arrival, she can hardly wait to get rid of the chattering estate agent. Then Eric, the English teacher's husband, shows up. He bosses her around and fiddles with the fire. Next Constantine arrives. She thought she had covered her trail and that people would leave her alone, but alas that is not to be.
We jump ahead eight years. Eva has a son, Jeremy. They return to England after living in America for nearly a decade.
That is where I left them. At the airport.
I turned to Wikipedia to find out the rest of the story. It doesn't end well for Eva. And I found out some things: her father and her guardian were lovers; her son was bought on the black market in America and is deaf; she comes to fall in love with Henry, one of the sons from the vicar's family introduced in Part One.
I don't know people who act or think like this. I missed all the clues as to the above Wikipedia revelations. Apparently Ms. Bowen and I operate on quite different levels. At least in this novel.
Should I give up or does anyone have any suggestions?