When eleven-year-old Henrietta arrives at the Fishers’ well-appointed house in Paris, she is prepared to spend her day between trains looked after by an old friend of her grandmother’s. Henrietta longs to see a few sights in the foreign city; little does she know what fascinating secrets the Fisher house itself contains.
For Henrietta finds that her visit coincides with that of Leopold, an intense child who has come to Paris to be introduced to the mother he has never known. In the course of a single day, the relations between Leopold, Henrietta’s agitated hostess Naomi Fisher, Leopold’s mysterious mother, his dead father, and the dying matriarch in bed upstairs, come to light slowly and tantalizingly. And when Henrietta leaves the house that evening, it is in possession of the kind of grave knowledge usually reserved only for adults. One of Elizabeth Bowen’s most artful and psychologically acute novels, The House in Paris is a timeless masterpiece of nuance and atmosphere, and represents the very best of Bowen’s celebrated oeuvre.
This 1935 novel is considered among Bowen's best. Eleven-year-old Henrietta is visting the Fisher family in Paris. The character of the city, however, has nothing on the characters inside the residence, including Leopold, a child; his unusual mother; a dead father who has as much presence as any of the living; and an old man dying in bed. There's something dark about the goings-on here, which Henrietta learns firsthand. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.