Sunday, March 1, 2015

Book Review: "To the Lighthouse" by Virginia Woolf

This was my first Woolf novel, having recently read her non-fiction title “A Room of One’s Own”, which is an extended essay in fictional narrative form and which gave me a taste of her writing style.

Still, I have to admit that in the first tenth of the novel I had a slight problem adjusting to her “stream of consciousness” style, often having to turn back the pages to get a grip on who’s saying what. Once I got adapted to it, I found that I became sort of addicted to being transported into the hearts and minds of the characters, who are just members of an ordinary family and their friends, each trying to cope with changes in his/her life.

The outstanding skill of Woolf is her way of using affecting imageries throughout the novel, at times to paint an atmospheric background (particularly in Part 2), and at other times to inject thoughts and emotions into her characters. The end result is a picture-perfect story that is created out of a non-dramatic, even mundane narrative concerning the everyday life of the Ramsay family and their friends.

After putting down the book, I found that the words are no longer there, but the imageries have stuck.


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