To the Lighthouse
'To the Lighthouse' is Virginia Woolf's fifth novel, and was the first book to win her a large public. The story of an English middle class family in the years leading up to the First World War, it has remained the most popular of all her works.
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The book is a set of excerpts from private remembrances while at the Ramsays family beach house. The remembrances centre round Mrs Ramsay both while she is alive as well as after her death. There is s strong sense of melancholy about human transience set against the impassiveness of the house itself - and the lighthouse.
Just as the book begins to envelope me within the small world of the Ramsays, the self-conscious cleverness disturbs the engagement. My mind receeds from the Ramsays and instead sees Virginia Woolf sitting and thinking of some phrase for readers more impressed by cleverness than simple sincerity.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed the book for this cleverness of language, as well as the many short sections where I was transported, iluminated, impressed and intrigued.
Wonderful story. I love to read it. Virginia Woolf proved herself as a splendid novelist. And love quote "What is the meaning of life? That was all- a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years, the great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one."