AFTERWARDS by Elizabeth Fenwick


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The sensitive, shadowed perceptiveness which distinguished The Long Wing and attracted a discerning rather than indiscriminate audience is again evidenced here in a second novel of uncertain, uneasy lives caught in the aftermath of emotions which are played out. Eila, who had abandoned her husband, Nick, and her boy, Barty, for a young soldier who had been killed in the war and left her with a small child, now returns after four years of estrangement on a visit to her mother, with whom Nick and Barty lived. Anxious, confused, Eila faces the initial anger of her mother which fades out as the younger child offers the old woman another chance at maternal appropriation; she also faces her responsibility towards Barty who stays away from home too much- to escape his grandmother, as well as her own bondage to her mother more and more insistently stressed. It is Barty who decides the issue for Eila, as she stays on for his sake, forfeits an unknown future. A delicate dissection here of emotions which are disturbed rather than intense, of people who are caught in a complexity of relationships which confuses them but from which they cannot escape.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1950
Publisher: Rinehart