Book reviews

"Night and Day" (Virginia Woolf, 1919)

It took a while to get into this book--I found the style a bit impenetrable at the beginning, and I also felt too many characters are introduced too quickly, and it was hard to tie it all together.

Over time, the plot gets interesting... or shall I say "hooks you"? because that's what happened, I was reading this one over Christmas and I yearned to get out of the living room and go back to the book all the time because I wanted to know "what happens next". So much intrigue!

That said, the end was a bit disappointing. I wasn't expecting a traditional ending.

The good bits are all the interesting nods to things for which Virginia Woolf would be known later: the hints to women independence both in work and sexuality, the complexity of the mind---the descriptions of the state of minds of the characters are really incredible. And also, the references to London locations are fantastic: I did go to Russell Square to check out the buildings with the orange bricks, and try to imagine how the square would have been back in the times when the novel was written.

Regarding the locations: some aspects are just unbelievable if you are aware of the real distance between them or simply I'm lacking some imagination to fill in the gaps. For example, at some point one character walks from Highgate to Chelsea. The book fails to mention that this is a 2 hour plus walk, and back in those days with all the lack of pavements I presume the character would have arrived full of mud and in a complete state of disarray. And so on... It felt quite unrealistic in that sense.