Title: To The Lighthouse
Author: Virginia Woolf
First published: 1927
Edition: Paperback, published by Collins in 2013
The serene and maternal Mrs. Ramsay, the tragic yet absurd Mr. Ramsay, and their children and assorted guests are on holiday on the Isle of Skye. From the seemingly trivial postponement of a visit to a nearby lighthouse, Woolf constructs a remarkable, moving examination of the complex tensions and allegiances of family life and the conflict between men and women.
I am so glad I finally read this one. It had been languishing on my bookshelves for far too long!
It took me a little while to get into. The writing style is quite dense and very introspective. I did eventually get into the flow of this novel. It is quite philosophical and it explores human emotions and relationships in quite an extraordinary way. The perspective changes all the time and sometimes I had to back up a few sentences to figure out what was going on and who was thinking what, but I did find that after a while I definitely got used to this style of narration.
The book is basically split in two parts, set ten years apart. Much has happened in the intervening years and people have changed, or not, as the case may be.
Woolf’s writing is often lyrical and beautiful, but I did find it jarring sometimes and I found it hard to keep my mind on it for some reason. It never quite pulled me in, though I am not sure whether it was meant to. For all the deepest emotions that the characters reveal to you, the writing still felt rather cool.
This is a book i would like to get back to at some point. I think I need to stew on it for a while first though.
5 out of 7 stars