Friday, December 26, 2014

Unfinished Book: Vanessa and Her Sister

Title Vanessa and Her Sister

Author Priya Parmar

Release Date December 30, 2014

London, 1905: The city is alight with change, and the Stephen siblings are at the forefront. Vanessa, Virginia, Thoby, and Adrian are leaving behind their childhood home and taking a house in the leafy heart of avant-garde Bloomsbury. There they bring together a glittering circle of bright, outrageous artistic friends who will grow into legend and come to be known as the Bloomsbury Group. And at the center of this charmed circle are the devoted, gifted sisters: Vanessa, the painter, and Virginia, the writer.

Each member of the group will go on to earn fame and success, but so far Vanessa Bell has never sold a painting. Virginia Woolf’s book review has just been turned down by The Times. Lytton Strachey has not published anything. E. M. Forster has finished his first novel but does not like the title. Leonard Woolf is still a civil servant in Ceylon, and John Maynard Keynes is looking for a job. Together, this sparkling coterie of artists and intellectuals throw away convention and embrace the wild freedom of being young, single bohemians in London.

But the landscape shifts when Vanessa unexpectedly falls in love and her sister feels dangerously abandoned. Eerily possessive, charismatic, manipulative, and brilliant, Virginia has always lived in the shelter of Vanessa’s constant attention and encouragement. Without it, she careens toward self-destruction and madness. As tragedy and betrayal threaten to destroy the family, Vanessa must decide if it is finally time to protect her own happiness above all else.

The work of exciting young newcomer Priya Parmar, Vanessa and Her Sister exquisitely captures the champagne-heady days of prewar London and the extraordinary lives of sisters Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22238372-vanessa-and-her-sister
Review

DNF at 21%

I vaguely know of the characters this book is based on, but after reading the blurb, I was very interested in reading Vanessa and Her Sister. However, once I started reading, I had a hard time paying attention. The pacing felt too slow and disjointed and I believe that's because it's told in journal entries and letters. While I love stories told like this, I do realize that it doesn't work well for everything. I tried my best to continue on reading until the story picked up, but it didn't happen soon enough to keep me interested.

I believe, though, that I may potentially come back to this book at a later date and time and try again. I normally don't do that for books that I mark DNF, but I believe there's potential here and I may just not have the patience to find it right now.

Rating

No rating since I didn't finish the book.

* This book was received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *

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