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The Little Girls Paperback – July 13, 2004
Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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“This story is poetic in its awareness, its stimulus, its beauty of writing; and as full of clues, hints and half-revealed secrets as any thriller.” —The Scotsman (Edinburgh)
“Bowen so thoroughly knows the world she is writing about that she contrives to appear to convey it to us whole. Her fictional insight is made solid by sound psychological insight.” –The New York Times
From the Inside Flap
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.
Top Customer Reviews
I liked the book anyway. The characters are the same age/sex as I am (mid-60s). There are all kinds of hints about big secrets to be revealed, but I did not figure out the secrets. Was Dicey's mother sleeping with Clare's father? Was Clare's father really Dicey's father too? What happened to Dicey when she injured her head? Why was Dicey so upset that she had to be bed-ridden for days? Why did she want so much for Clare to spend the night? Was Clare gay? What was the deal with Trevor? What was Sheikie doing for the ten years before she married Trevor? Who was the man Sheikie "killed"?
ARGHH! I have an advanced degree in a difficult subject, and I am usually good at puzzles, so I am not used to feeling this dumb!
The Little Girls, the fourth novel of hers I have read. I do not think I would have fallen as madly in love with her if it had been my first or second book of hers that I read. But it is still a good novel. Like most of Bowen' work plot is secondary to the way people read one another. In this case the three girls of the title, who are all grown up and in their sixties. They have not spoken to each other since their childhood effectively ended with the outbreak of the First World War. The girls put together a pagan sort of made up ritual in creating a time capsule to go along with their exotic nick-names, (Sheickie, Mumbo and Dicey). Then fifty years later they decide to search for it. But really it is about
After reflection the prose of this seems different than in her earlier novels. I read an article that stated in her later novels, especially Eva Trout, her prose tends to be more in the subjectivity of the characters. The Little Girls is definitely moving in that direction. The third person narrator is using the vocabulary of whom she is describing. This is especially obvious in the second section narrating the events that happened immediately before the outbreak of the war. It makes it less sympathetic than the prose of her earlier novels. I guess I just wanted to like it more than I did.