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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Adeline--A Novel of Virginia Woolf

Adeline: A Novel of Virginia WoolfAdeline: A Novel of Virginia Woolf by Norah Vincent
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Virginia Woolf's first name was actually Adeline, hence the title of this novel. In the book Adeline is also the teenaged Virginia with whom she holds lengthy conversations throughout--she is the girl Virginia was when her mother died and she had the first of several mental breakdowns that would plague her life. The author has chosen to write the book much in the style of her subject and so there is lots of interior conversations in which stream of consciousness is employed. This can cause a great deal of convolution in run on sentences and an abundance of visual, sometimes auditory, descriptions. Personally, the style gives me a headache. Yet, there are moments, when Virginia is conversing with someone other than herself when the story becomes interesting and animated. Certainly, the novel is populated by many of the Bloomsbury set with whom Virginia, and her sister Vanessa, communed. They are presented primarily through Virginia's mental ramblings during her down times between her productive writing periods, some of which extended for years, resulting in one of her published works.

Though the skeletal framework of her life comes through--her sexual abuse at the hands of her step-brothers, her dependent relationship with her sister, her marriage to a Jewish author, her involvement in romantic affairs with woman, her distain for many whom she considered inferior to her intelligence and her own insecurities in a world controlled by men. Yet, somehow, it is not a satisfying book and led to further exploration on my part. Perhaps, then, that is the strength of the book--it sends the reader who is still interested on a search for more information.

I was given this book by Book Browse to read and take part in a discussion on their website to begin on June 16.

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