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To the Lighthouse Paperback – Bargain Price, December 27, 1989
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
It is practically impossible to read this book in little ten-minute spots, while watching television or babysitting. Don't try it; you'll end up not liking it.
It needs your time. Give it an hour with no interruptions. Get a bag of pistachios and read. Unplug the phone, turn off the TV. Read and don't stop. Then you'll discover the joy of Virginia Woolf -- for while her prose is tough, it is haunting, beautiful, and real.
Once you've settled into it, you'll discover a wonderful book, a tale of everyday life lived. Both intensely personal and incredibly universal, this book is life itself.
So, you want the real review. Alright, it's the story of a beach house, where reside the Ramseys and their various friends. Mrs. Ramsey is a goddess and nearly everyone worships her. This is more fun to read than it sounds. Lily Briscoe is a painter trying to figure out what she sees and what she loves.
There is a brutal twist in the middle, and the rest of the book is coping with that. No, I won't tell you what it is. Go read the book. It's great.
It's about beauty, about the incredible tragedy of time passing, about art and the world, about love and marriage, about people. It's not only a book about life, it is a book of life itself.
So maybe it's not written for our 30 second commercial, read at the bus stop age.
To the Lighthouse, like Woolf's previous novel, Jacob's Room, is a somewhat disjointed story, possessing numerous characters, points-of-view and conflicts. The overlapping and separation of the characters and their stories seems to result from both intention and oversight and is a product of what Woolf referred to as "all characters boiled down," and the "break of unity in my design."
The story centers around the summer vacation to the Isle of Skye of the Ramsey family, a family Woolf admitted was very much like her own. In fact, Woolf said that writing To the Lighthouse helped her "rub out" the obsessive memory of her own mother. Mrs. Ramsey, like Woolf's own mother, is a woman of decidedly Victorian ideals, choosing to focus on her home, her marriage and her family.
Interacting with Mrs. Ramsey is the character most representative of Woolf, herself, Lily Briscoe, a young girl who is staying in the same beachouse as the Ramseys. Unmarried, Lily draws both disapproval and sympathy from Mrs.Read more ›
This is a book about transitions; from childhood to adulthood, from an era of clearly defined roles to one of liberation; it is a book about the things people need from each other but have difficulty communicating; it is a book about the impossibility of communication and the other subtle ways we attempt to bridge the divide between ourselves and other people. I doubt these topics will ever be addressed as elegantly.
To the Lighthouse centers around the Ramsey family and the people they bring in their wake to their home on the Isle of Skye. Families in the world of this book are fragile things. The first half creates the Ramsey family group so well that when the second half is without it, the reader is constantly aware of the ghost images standing in the empty spaces. Meanwhile, Lily tries to understand the world she's in and make her painting by meditating about the Ramseys and how much has changed in the world around them.
The book is tremendously beautiful and sad. I'll look forward to re-reading it again in another ten years.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Read for the first time, aged 70, this interesting novel strikes one most for its old-fashioned flavour, characters and attitudes. It is an anti-Dan Brown. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kenneth Hurry
I hesitate ever to use superlatives like "best" or "worst." But here in Virginia Woolf's "classic," I must report the most obtuse, slow, bone-dry,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Andrew R. Oerman
I bought To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf and now realize I most likely made a mistake choosing the Audible format for this book. Normally, I love Audible versions of books. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Steven M. Critelli
This was a very difficult read, for me. It was a book club selection that I belong to and after our review, so many participants "GOT IT" - "LOVED-IT"
so I... Read more