Night and Day, Paperback
2.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


This title is presented with introductions by Angelica Garnett and Jo Shapcott.

In "Night and Day", Virginia Woolf portrays her elder sister Vanessa in the person of Katharine Hilbery - the gifted daughter of a distinguished literary family, trapped in an environment which will not allow her to express herself.

Looking at questions raised by love and marriage, "Night and Day" paints an unforgettable picture of the London intelligensia before the First World War, with psychological insight, compassion and humour.




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Night and Day has been called Virginia Woolf's "most neglected novel," and I know why. It's too long, and too boring. This was a disappointment to me because [Night and Day] has also been called Woolf's novel that is most like Jane Austen (which just says that Woolf is not very much like Jane Austen. Neither is Stephen King, btw). My second disappointment is that the novel is about the Edwardian era--my favourite, so I was expecting great things. The novel covers the lives of a group of young adults living in London around 1908. They are each figuring out their place in the world, and each has his or her own ideas, but none of the six want to emulate their parent's Victorian world. There are two love triangles--the beautiful Katherine, her fiance William, and her cousin Cassandra; and, Katherine, a lawyer named Ralph, and a suffragette named Mary. As boring as this book was, there were some truly lovely passages and a few interesting parts. I'd say if you edit this down from the 489 pages of my edition and make it an 80 page novella, it would be a strong book. Woolf is recorded to have said that with this novel, her second, she aimed at "putting it all in," and that she did. Including two pages about a guy looking at his watch. Too, too much! I started Night and Day on June 12 (2 days less than 5 months), and have read 37 other books while chipping away at this one. It was taking me so long that I wrote a mini-review at the half-way point. This is what I said:"Katherine is the dutiful adult daughter who comes from a family of literary aristocracy. She is expected to make a good marriage, but what she really wants is to study mathematics. In the first chapter, she meets Ralph, a young lawyer from a lower class, and doesn’t like him. Hence we know that they will become love interests. Katherine soon gets engaged to William, a boring poet who reminds me of Cecil from A Room with a View. Obviously not the right love interest. And there is also Mary, who works in a suffragette office in Russell Square. Two-hundred-and-sixty-six pages in, that’s all that’s happened so far. Another two-hundred-and-twenty-three pages to go."<b>Recommended for:</b> Readers who liked overstuffed Victorian-style novels and Virginia Woolf completists only. <b>Why I Read This Now:</b> I'm a Virginia Woolf completist.

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