Book Review: Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar


I received this ebook through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Published: December 30, 2014 by Ballantine Books

Summary: London, 1905: The city is alight with change, and the Stephen siblings are at the forefront. Vanessa, Virginia, Thoby, and Adrian are leaving behind their childhood home and taking a house in the leafy heart of avant-garde Bloomsbury. There they bring together a glittering circle of bright, outrageous artistic friends who will grow into legend and come to be known as the Bloomsbury Group. And at the center of this charmed circle are the devoted, gifted sisters: Vanessa, the painter, and Virginia, the writer.

Each member of the group will go on to earn fame and success, but so far Vanessa Bell has never sold a painting. Virginia Woolf’s book review has just been turned down by The Times. Lytton Strachey has not published anything. E. M. Forster has finished his first novel but does not like the title. Leonard Woolf is still a civil servant in Ceylon, and John Maynard Keynes is looking for a job. Together, this sparkling coterie of artists and intellectuals throw away convention and embrace the wild freedom of being young, single bohemians in London.

But the landscape shifts when Vanessa unexpectedly falls in love and her sister feels dangerously abandoned. Eerily possessive, charismatic, manipulative, and brilliant, Virginia has always lived in the shelter of Vanessa’s constant attention and encouragement. Without it, she careens toward self-destruction and madness. As tragedy and betrayal threaten to destroy the family, Vanessa must decide if it is finally time to protect her own happiness above all else.

Review: I was pretty excited to be approved to read this one from NetGalley.  I’ve only read one book by Virginia Woolf but I liked it and want to read more.  It was really interesting to get to know Virginia, her siblings, and their friends.  I really love reading this style of book that is in the form of a diary with letters and telegrams inserted from different members of the group.  I enjoyed the author’s writing style and was completely fascinated by the Bloomsbury Group gatherings and happenings.  I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Virginia Woolf or any of the members of the famous Bloomsbury Group.

Four out of five stars.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar

  1. Pingback: 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge | The Worn Bookmark

  2. Pingback: Month In Review: January 2015 | The Worn Bookmark

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s