To the Lighthouse, Paperback
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


'I am making up "To the Lighthouse" - the sea is to be heard all through it' Inspired by the lost bliss of her childhood summers in Cornwall, Virginia Woolf produced one of the masterworks of English literature in To the Lighthouse.

It concerns the Ramsay family and their summer guests on the Isle of Skye before and after the First World War.

As children play and adults paint, talk, muse and explore, relationships shift and mutate.

A captivating fusion of elegy, autobiography, socio-political critique and visionary thrust, it is the most accomplished of all Woolf's novels.

On completing it, she thought she had exorcised the ghosts of her imposing parents, but she had also brought form to a book every bit as vivid and intense as the work of Lily Briscoe, the indomitable artist at the centre of the novel.

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It’s a masterful novel. Apart from the beautiful and lyrical narration that focuses on the inner life of characters- exchanges, inner dialogue, pervasive thoughts, and all that has been since labeled the stream of consciousness, I found the proportions of the novel extremely interesting. The structure of the plot has what seems inverted proportions. In a traditional plot structure, events, especially those life-changing or dramatic, would be given prominence in the plot, and the lesser events or no events really if we think of the inner life of the characters on an perfectly ordinary day, would occupy proportionally less space. Yet, here what we would take for the most dramatic events are mere en passant mentions and the inner life of the characters takes over the plot. Within those inner dialogues is the best rendering of a wordless exchange between a husband and a wife I have ever read.

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