by Virginia Woolf
I would really like to give this 4.5 stars. I struggled a little in the beginning, it is so very wordy and off you are sent on these metaphorical flights of fancy which can seem self-indulgent and pretentious on the part of Woolf and it got a little wearing as a reader, in fact, at that time, I would have given 3 stars. Yet, although this does not change, it somehow seems to become more tailored, more precise and far more interesting and absorbing as a result. I often put it down and wondered what on earth I had just read. But, I couldn't wait to read more just to see where Woolf would mentally take me. She is a most unusual writer.
In terms of the narrative, is there an actual story? Not really, but the insight she had to relationships, (of all descriptions) and human emotion is startlingly real and accurate, you find yourself nodding in agreement and yet also feeling as if you have been winded at the same time. Her writing is out of the world, literally, in some paragraphs. There are elements I felt she compromised in order to provide such profound prose, the parts in parenthesis did not quite work for me and could have been better developed or revealed. As a piece of writing, it is brilliant, as an actual read, it's not without flaws. Rather like the people in the novel.