The Classics Club Spin – The Years by Virginia Woolf

Well, I’ve been totally confused about this and I’ve just realised that I read the wrong book for this Classics Club spin.  I should have read Midnight Is a Place by Joan Aiken and I’ve read The Years by Virginia Woolf instead. That was a book which I was meant to be reading for Simon and Karen’s 1937 Club, which doesn’t come up until April.  Midnight is a Place is quite a hefty book so I doubt if I’ll be able to get it read by March, 3rd. Anyway, here we go.

Previously I had read three of Virginia Woolf’s novels and I had decided that she really wasn’t my cup of tea, but I found The Years to be much more enjoyable, probably because it’s a bit of a family saga.

The chapters are headed with a date, beginning with 1880 and continuing to 1891, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1911, 1913, 1914, 1917, 1918 and ending with The Present Day (which of course was 1937.) The first and the last chapters are more novella than chapter length. The setting is London, where the Pargiter family live, they’re a middle class family headed by a father who had been in the army. Colonel Pargiter had been wounded in the Indian Mutiny so has a damaged hand. His wife is dying and is upstairs in her bedroom, strangely everyone seems just to be tired of the whole process, she’s taking too long to die, there seems to be no love there, even from the grown children. The colonel has a mistress, but that’s a rather tepid affair too.

Each chapter contains some of the members of the wider family, over the years some drop out of sight, and re-appear later on, just as often happens in families.

You would think that World War 1 would feature in those war years, but it really doesn’t, it’s still all very domestic.  I thought this one was like a mini Forsyte Saga, but that might just be because it was set in the same era.

Jack also read this and blogged about it here.


6 thoughts on “The Classics Club Spin – The Years by Virginia Woolf

    • kaggsysbookishramblings,
      It’s quite entertaining but nothing earth shattering, definitely not ‘experimental’ like the others I’ve read. I’m not keen on stream of consciousness.

    • Anne,
      I haven’t read anything by Hemingway, I really should add him to my Classics Club list. Thanks for dropping by.

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