Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: To The Lighthouse (Virginia Woolf)


Title: To The Lighthouse
Author: Virginia Woolf
Genre: Fiction/Classic
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


4 thoughts on “Book Thoughts: To The Lighthouse (Virginia Woolf)

  1. She’s not the easiest of writers (although her first novels are really and surprisingly accessible, as I found when I joined a reading project a few years back!) but I have come to love this one over the years. I love the shift in time, too.

    1. Interesting! I definitely liked what she was doing with the story. I just came into it after a chicklit novel and it was a bit of a change! I definitely want to read more by her.

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