Books I am reading

Monday, February 2, 2015

Vanessa and Her Sister

 The story of Vanessa Stephen Bell and her sister Virginia Stephen Woolf is a story of love and madness, talent and privilege, young people breaking convention and plagued by guilt. The story is told through journal entries, and postcards and letters. 
     The novel is compelling and kept drawing me in, even though I don't like the format of journal entries, etc. If you are a fan of Vanessa's art and Virginia's writing, this is an intriguing look at their very private lives. I disliked Virginia and felt she was a spoiled, manipulative brat. But my view is from the 21st Century where mental health support is much more enlightened and treatment more successful than ever imagined in 1905.
     The lives of Vanessa and Virginia are intertwined with their brothers and friends who loosely form a bohemian and intellectual group that meet regularly to discuss the art scene in London and Paris. All these young people go on to fame as their careers mature.
     This novel is an intriguing look at 1905 privilege and creative young talent. If you enjoy art, writing and historical insights, you will enjoy Vanessa and Her Sister.