Tag Archives: Virginia Woolf

Let’s Get Literal – To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

List Item: Read 100 of the greatest works of fiction
Progress: 63/100Title: To The Lighthouse
Author: Virginia Woolf
Year: 1927
Country: UK

My last book was a trial, but instead of diving into a comic for solace I’ve come to a new author for help and was given an excellent book in return. Going into this, the only things I knew about Virginia Woolf were cleaned from other pieces of pop culture – such as how she ended her life and the titles of some books. I didn’t know anything about her writing style, but I took the gamble that she knew how to finish a sentence.

With Into The Lighthouse, which I think is meant to be her most acclaimed work, I think I have found a new author whose writing style I can really enjoy. It’s a bit train of thought, which I appreciate as that’s kinda how conversations with me tend to go, and it is so in the heads of all the various characters that it feels like your an invisible and telepathic presence in their world. Like, without being explicit and over the top, this book has all the voyeurism of a excellent melodrama. All the more interesting as the story told here is actually quite small and, ultimately, not that significant.

In the end, by reading this book, you are peering into the life of a family as they visit their Scottish holiday home on two occasions many years apart. In the first part, this is a young family with children and, by the third part, family members have died and we have also had World War One in between. Comments made and relationships displayed in the first part have palpable effects on how the children have grown up and how other characters outside the family, like Lily who is still haunted by a throwaway comment about women not being able to paint, have since developed.

As I said before, it’s a small story, but it’s also an incredibly human one. There’s no real airs and graces here in he style of writing, although the family are extremely privileged. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book by an author and immediately wanted to dive into another one by them. I’m going to hold off though and try someone else for the first time. Who knows, it might work out as well as this did.