Fiction Read Harder Recommendations

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

Review:

Okay, I’ll admit it, I got a little lost in the language. It took me longer than normal to get through To the Lighthouse. I had begun trying to let my Echo read it to me, which I have loved to do to get ahead on some reading while doing household chores but it let me down here. It was all the sentences that ran far too long with too many semicolons. It drove me a little crazy, so I had to change methods. I went back to reading it like a normal ebook.

The magic of the book is in it’s insight into normalcy. There’s nothing unusual about any of its characters but To the Lighthouse looks deeper into the family and those who surround them than most books do these days. Each characters gets POV time and with each character you understand their alliances within the family, the reasons for their alliances, who they are allied against and why, their hopes and frustrations. One of the great things about reading it so far removed from the time and place when it was written is seeing the way the family of that time worked and how they depended on each other.

It wasn’t a fun book to read but it’s a valuable book when looking at progress and the lives of women and the way that plays into the family life. While it shouldn’t alone speak for the family dynamic of the time, it’s very existence is proof that things were not perfect before women to work en masse in the second wave feminism. The roles of Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay may have complimented each other functionally, I hesitate to believe that either was better off than a modern family. I’d love to have read this for a college class that dove deeper into what it all meant and the inner lives of each character. I feel a little like reading it for a reading challenge for a blog took a lot of the fun out of it but I don’t know anyone else who has read it. Such is fate.

This was my choice for Read Harder 2017 Task 7: Read a book published between 1900 and 1950 (first published 1927). I borrowed it from the library but anyone interested in purchasing the book can click on the cover image for the BookLikes options or add it to Goodreads here

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