Saturday, December 11, 2010

Show Me 5 Saturday: To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

To the Lighthouse,A landmark of modern fiction, Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse explores thesubjective reality of everyday life in the Hebrides for the Ramsay family.Paperback on December 27, 1989From That's A Novel Idea and Find Your Next Book Here

1 book I read: To the Lighthouse
2 words that describe the book: Modern fiction

3 settings where it took place or characters you met:

The Hebrides, on the Isle of Skye - This is the location of the Ramsay family's summer home and the place where the entire novel unfolds over the course of several years. There's really not much else to say about the Hebrides besides showing you a picture:


Gorgeous, isn't it? Sigh...

Lily Briscoe - Not a member of the Ramsay family, Lily really is the main character in this novel. She begins a shy young painter who takes too much to heart the ramblings of Charles Tansley that women shouldn't be painters. She spends most of the novel doubting various things, most often her abilities. There's an idea for a painting bouncing around in her head for a decade, and the painting finally is finished at the end of the novel.

Mr. Ramsay - A rude, self-centered man, he worries too much of his legacy and his impact in the world. He takes out his insecurities on his wife and children, bullying them into submission. He also is very much a modern character who questions Victorian practices and ideals, but only when they serve him.

4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it:

I liked, as always, Woolf's writing. She's one of those writers who could compose a sketch on grass growing and make it beautiful. There's no one that compares to her in my book.

I liked Mrs. Ramsay's character. She's kind and hopeful, buoying up her husband and children when necessary, and protective of the children's innocence. She has a very Romantic view of the world, appreciating beauty and believing it should be preserved.

I liked Woolf's experiment with the second section, showing the passing of a decade. It's a tough section to slog through if you're not paying attention, but the payoff is great.

I greatly disliked Mr. Ramsay's character. He reminds me of all those overbearing, chauvinistic patriarchs that are represented in history and literature. He really had no redeeming qualities to him, in my opinion.

5 Stars or less for your rating?

I'm giving the book 5 stars. This is a classic everyone should read.

The Whys and Wheres: Personal library

Challenges: Read 'n' Review Challenge; Take Another Chance Challenge #3 - 100 Best Books


Jenners said...

Oh ... what a lovely photo!!!

And I tried Woolf earlier this year and really struggled. Didn't make it past 10 pages. Maybe this one is more accessible.

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