Elizabeth Bowen(1899 – 1973)

The Visitor

Another selection from The Penguin Book of Modern Women’s Short Stories, edited by Susan Hill, The Visitor is about a nine year old boy whose mother is about to die and who has been left in the care of a spinster couple who live nearby. Bowen’s own mother died when she was thirteen and she sent to love  with maiden aunts.

Whilst the writing is, in places, just exactly as things are (especially in her description of a spare room that takes on a different identity for each guest), I was less convinced by the boy as narrator and the authenticity of the nine-year-old’s voice.

The Visitor is available to read on-line here


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