Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Eva Trout by Elizabeth Bowen

" Iseult Arble seemed destined to have Eva - destined, she sometimes wondered, never to lose her? Everything had indicated Iseult. She and her husband needed the Eva money, to make ends meet- could they, otherwise, have gone on very much longer?"

I began reading this novel with interest and the odd chuckle, but confess to being preoccupied with other things going on in my life. Upon completing the reading, I felt compelled to immediately re-read to make some kind of sense of it. An online search and a review of the introduction confirmed some of my worst suspicions - it would appear I had kind of missed the plot in many ways.

How did I not understand that Eva's father was gay and that Constantine was his lover? It really didn't jump out of the page to me. I did sense there were complications in the relationship with Constantine but that was not what I took from it. In fact, I thought Constantine and Iseult were having, if not an affair, then a serious flirtation.

Then we come to the baby. I was left wondering who the father was, since Eva seemed somewhat disinterested in the pursuit of physical pleasures - other than admiring her female room-mate at school. Wikipedia saved the day and explained Jeremy was purchased from a child smuggling ring in America - clearly I had been skimming again. I blame the dense blocks of text that flitter about just like Eva's personality.

Was Eric in love with Eva, were Iseult's suspicions based on some kind of physical intimacy - I grew more and more confused. Nay, I was downright 'confuddled'.

There were moments that drew a giggle and held my interest, and yet as a whole this book was really not for me. The shock ending was particularly dumbfounding  and not dissimilar to a soapie cliffhanger at the end of a series, prompting a "they did what?" moment.

I feel I need to revisit to gather any further thoughts, as such its a  3 out of 5 castles make good honeymoon destinations.

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