This novel appears on lists of the best 100 books of the 20ieth century because of its depiction of London during WW II. People generally project their understanding of life today onto the past and for this reason, it is good to read a book written 65 years ago to discover the texture and assumptions of those times. Indeed, Bowen writes with greater complexity and emphasis on thoughts and ideas than many contemporary writers who place the emphasis instead on the narrative.
The writing doesn't seem to have aged well and feels forced, although she was an award-winner in her time. Didn't finish.
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