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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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By M. J. Dana on 01-20-15
Vanessa and her Sister
Very good book. Draws in the reader, immerses the reader in the historical art and literary scene of the day. It was quite interesting to have a glimpse of Virginia Wolfe as a sibling might have viewed her.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Victoria on 01-24-15
Where does Vanessa and Her Sister rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Either first or second.
What other book might you compare Vanessa and Her Sister to and why?
I would compare it to Anansi Boys narrated by Lenny Henry because the narration is so good you lose yourself in it.
What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Since this book is written as a diary and letters, it is wonderful to hear because it's like the author of the diary or the letter is speaking out loud what he/she is writing down.
If you could rename Vanessa and Her Sister, what would you call it?
I would not rename it. The name is perfect, giving Vanessa Bell the headline.
Any additional comments?
Vanessa Bell was already my favorite Bloomsbury; if you have any interest in the Bloomsbury group, you will love this. If you don't know Bloomsbury, this is a splendid introduction. I am now going to go choose a Virginia Woolf novel to listen to.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful