Is it possible to admire a writer but not completely love their work? It might sound contradicting, but that is how I feel about Virginia Woolf. The writing is outstanding. Woolf effortlessly forms perfect and palpable phrases. But similarly to Mrs. Dalloway and To The Lighthouse, The Waves doesn’t have a specific plot. It’s a book about life and the passing of time.
The Waves centers on six characters: Bernard, Neville, Louis, Susan, Rhoda, and Jinny. It begins when they are all kids at a school playground and transitions until they are senior adults. The stream of consciousness jumps between these characters, often describing the same situations but having very different viewpoints. One of the main themes is how friendships can distort your sense of self. All characters have insecurities and create their inner identities based on how they think the rest sees them.
The description of waves itself sets the mood for the entire book. The crashing waves, sunrises, sunsets, the chirping of birds, and falling leaves, all symbolize the constant changes and the inevitable ending – death.
So while I did enjoy this book overall, at times I felt remorsefully bored and just wanted something to happen. And while many things do happen, at the same time, it feels like it doesn’t. Virginia Woolf may not be for everybody, her books represent a challenge but it’s worth giving them a try.
I was always going to the bookcase for another sip of the divine specific.Virginia Woolf, The Waves
2 thoughts on “Review: The Waves”
I TOTALLY get what you’re saying about Virginia Woolf. I want to like reading her work so badly, but I think it’s just not for me. I’ll have to admire her from afar.
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my thoughts exactly!