Vanessa and Her Sister

Vanessa and Her Sister

A Novel

Downloadable Audiobook - 2014
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For fans of The Paris Wife and Loving Frank comes a captivating novel that offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of Vanessa Bell, her sister Virginia Woolf, and the controversial and popular circle of intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury Group. 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 brilliant, outrageous artistic friends who will grow into legend and come to be known as the Bloomsbury Group. And at the center of the 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 writers and artists 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. The work of exciting young newcomer Priya Parmar, Vanessa and Her Sister exquisitely captures the champagne-heady days of prewar London and the extraordinary lives of sisters Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf.Advance praise for Vanessa and Her Sister "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 PostmistressFrom the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Books on Tape, 2014
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780553398458
0553398458
Branch Call Number: E-AUDIOBOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 sound file (10 hr., 52 min., 37 sec.)) : digital

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FVReader
Mar 29, 2015

Let me start by saying that I really enjoyed listening to this story. Each character was read by a different person, giving them personality and voice. The format of a story being told through diary entries, letters, postcards and telegrams was, I think, meant to bring that "inside" thought of a person to the surface and, perhaps, to bring out the real person.
The story of this group, told mainly through Vanessa's eyes is fascinating. So much was happening in those days. It must have been an exciting time to live.
The book shows a Bohemian lifestyle that is avant garde and exciting, if one could live it. But it's from a privileged point of view and often makes this group seem pompous. That said, this group was amazing in their talents. Their talents and works are not disputed but their personal lives seem self-contained, often detached, arrogant and removed from the rest of us...by their choice.

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