Vanessa and Her Sister tells the story of Vanessa Bell and her writer sister Virginia Wolf (and also their family, friends and a little group they put together in the early 1900’s). Honestly that was kind of dull and everybody had nicknames for each other and was in love with one another… But this is mostly about the sisters. I can certainly see why some of the reviewers have said it’s boring. It’s mostly written in Vanessa’s journal entries and she enters absolutely everything.
I hate to admit it but I didn’t know much about Virginia Wolf except that I’m not really a fan. She’s slightly attached to her sister (understatement) and when Vanessa marries she’s not overly thrilled.
Now I say this with all honesty I spent the last half of this book on the edge of my seat waiting for Vanessa to cold cock her sister. Virginia doesn’t really come off good in this book. I know there are mental health issues involved but she strikes me mostly as a spoiled and manipulative child who lashes out when ignored or not getting her way. Yeah, I just didn’t like her.
I did really like Vanessa and I did want her to succeed. Her life was certainly not what I expected at the start of the book and for me at least while there was no actual sisterly violence (which would have been well-deserved in this case) I was happy with the ending.
The writing from Vanessa’s POV is interesting and swift. She’s obviously a very smart, talented and caring woman. There are letters and postcards throughout the book that I probably could have done with out and found them as boring as some people found Vanessa’s journals.
Recommend: This one is straight down the middle for me. I don’t regret reading it but it appealed to me at that moment and I don’t know if I would read it again. However if this is your kind of thing or you wanted some more insight into the time period and the Bloomsbury Group check this one out.