- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Anchor Canada (March 1 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385681356
- ISBN-13: 978-0385681353
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 699 g
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #164,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Vanessa and Her Sister Paperback – Mar 1 2016
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A New York Times Notable 100 Book of the Year
Named one of The New York Times’ Sunday Book Review Editors’ Choice
Named one of Vanity Fair’s Books You Need to Read this Month (January)
"[Vanessa and Her Sister] deals skillfully with . . . the fluctuating loves and betrayals, the art, Virginia’s terrifying bouts of insanity, and her almost equally terrifying bouts of whimsical brilliance and charm. . . . [Parmar] creates a convincing voice."
"Parmar's Vanessa and Her Sister injects new sizzle into the saga [of the Bloomsbury Group]. With a multi-voice, almost operatic treatment, Parmar’s second novel illuminates emotional truths about the already famous lives of Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf."
"A personal drama of great force. . . . Parmar's lively version of this well-known story quickly won me over.”
"Deftly told. . . . [Vanessa and Her Sister] captures the youthful, bohemian mood of the time."
—The Globe and Mail
"This novel gives [the Bloomsbury Group] as sharp an outline as one of Vanessa's paintings."
—Winnipeg Free Press
“It’s not often that you wish a book wouldn’t end, but [Vanessa and Her Sister] is so deliciously gossipy (while occasionally wonderfully prurient), and almost too beautifully written, to stop at 339 pages. The neediness, the control, the mind games, and ultimately the betrayal at the heart of this often poisonous sibling rivalry, is never less than fascinating.”
―The Independent (UK)
“Vanessa and Her Sister is an elegant, entertaining novel that brings new life to the Bloomsbury Group’s intrigues.”
―Dallas Morning News
“[Vanessa and Her Sister] draws a richly compelling and extraordinarily sympathetic portrait of a woman struggling to extricate herself from her sister’s loving but desperate clutches, and live, for want of a better phrase, a life of her own. . . . [Parmar] offers a fresh perspective on a story that’s already become legend.” ―The Independent (UK)
“[An] impressive novel. . . . with sharp insight and careful attention to detail. . . . Vanessa and Her Sister is a remarkable achievement. . . . [that is] so fresh and compelling.” ―The Guardian (UK)
“Told in richly imagined diary entries from Bell’s perspective, as well as invented letters and telegrams. . . . Parmar’s extensive research into the Bloomsbury group’s correspondence and diaries lends a realistic gloss to her fictionalized account of Bell’s turbulent life during these years.” ―Huffington Post
“Parmar convincingly portrays the sisters’ relationship, which is intensely close yet marred by the destructive effects of Virginia’s mental illness.” ―The New York Times
“‘A moving portrait of a brilliant family,’ says Staci Rice of Bluebird Books in Hutchinson, Kan.” ―USA Today
“[W]ritten with imaginative panache. . . . ***½ stars out of four. Gossipy, entertaining . . . makes for some tasty, frothy Bloomsbury pie.” ―USA Today
“Fascinating.” ―Jacquelin Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean
“Parmar’s narrative is riveting and successfully takes on the task of turning larger-than-life figures into real people. . . . [She] weaves their stories together so effortlessly that nothing seems out of place.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Priya Parmar is on a high-wire act all her own in this radiantly original novel about the Bloomsbury Set. Irrepressible, with charm and brio to spare, Vanessa and Her Sister boldly invites us to that moment in history when famous minds sparked and collided, shaping the terrain of art and letters. But it’s the two sisters who are most bewitching here—rocking on the brink of unforgivable transgression, changing each other in ways far-reaching and profound. Prepare to be dazzled.”
—Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife
“With sparkling wit and insight, Priya Parmar sets us down into the legendary Bloomsbury household of the Stephen siblings, where sisters Vanessa and Virginia vie for love and primacy amid a collection of eccentric guests. Vanessa and Her Sister kidnapped me for a couple of days. I couldn’t put it down.”
—Nancy Horan, author of Loving Frank
“This is the novel I didn’t know I was waiting for, and it is, quite simply, astonishing. Not just because of Priya Parmar’s preternatural skill at evoking the moment when the lid was coming off the Victorians and the heated talk about art, life, and sex swirled through Bloomsbury, but because of how she has caught the two sisters at the center of that swirl—the women who would become Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf. Vanessa and Her Sister is beautiful and wise, and as deft as a stroke upon the canvas.”
—Sarah Blake, author of The Postmistress
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Educated at Mount Holyoke College, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Oxford, PRIYA PARMAR is the author of one previous novel, Exit the Actress. She divides her time between Hawaii and London. www.priyaparmar.comSee all Product description
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I can't say I was overly pleased with the journal approach of this book, and I was a bit confused why there was dialog in the journal. I mean I haven't written a journal in years but who writes dialog in it? It would have been just better to have this book written from Vanessa's point of view without the journal entries.
I read Vanessa and Virginia by Susan Sellers some years ago and loved that book so I was intrigued by the thought of reading another book about the sisters, but this book was not nearly as good in my opinion. But still Vanessa and Her Sister wasn't all that bad, if you are interested in Bloomsbury Group, in Vanessa's relationship with Virginia that you will probably find this book interesting to read. Also even though I wasn't overjoyed about this book, I still liked it, and I especially liked the last part of the book, then the story really picked up. I would have loved to read more about Vanessa's relationship with Roger Fry and Virginia's marriage to Leonard instead there it ended. A bit of a letdown...
Provided by the publisher through NetGalley for a review!
Author Priya Parmar has written a fascinating accounting of a brief period of Virginia's life through the point of view of her sister in the form of a diary. This epostilatory novel delivers a poignant retelling of one of the most tumultuous periods of Virginia's life, when she was at the height of her troubles.
At the heart of the story are Virginia and her three siblings, Thoday, Vanessa, and Adrian. The story is full of dramatic encounters, minor scandals, and the social life of the main characters and the ever growing circle of intellectuals that comprised the Bloomsbury Group. Through postcards, letters, and numerous conversations, the story unfolds in a gracious, leisurely manner.
This is a character driven novel, not a plot driven one. So, if you're looking for a fast paced story, this story might not be for you. Rather, the author took her time to illustrate the Edwardian era, the intricacies and complications of the characters' personalities, and how they interacted with each other. It is a story of how one woman struggled to come to term with her life, her mental illness, her talent, and how it affected those around her. The cast of characters is huge and I struggled to recall them and their roles as I read along. This did take away a little from being able to fully immerse myself in the story as it caused me some frustration. But I persevered by focusing on the 4 main characters and their personal strifes and ignoring all the other characters who didn't offer much to the story. In this way, I was able to finish the novel, and came to enjoy it.
Les moeurs et habitudes de vivre avec l'art, l'ecriture, la peinture dans une famille tres aisee de l'Angleterre, nous font apprecier
Virginia Wolf et sa soeur Vanessa.
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