lördag 16 januari 2016

Book review: The Years

Title: The Years
Author: Virginia Woolf
Genre: Fiction, drama
Year published: 1937
Pages: ~450
A place to buy it: If you are in Sweden you can buy the book from Adlibris and if that's not the case you can buy if of Amazon.
Previous book review: Ladies Coupe

The Pargiters between 1880-1930

This is not a book for one that is looking for action or anything along dose lines. I enjoyed the book quite a lot, it's a nice, calm story. In the first chapter (called 1880) you get introduced to all the Pargiters and then, in each chapter that follows, you will be able to read about a day in the life, of one of the characters introduced in the first chapter, in a certain year (1891, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1911, 1913, 1914, 1917, 1918). In the chapter 1880 and the last one everything is neatly presented and closed, resulting in these two chapters being longer than the one's in between.

I do have to say that the last chapter is very long and I find it too long. It's only one day, most of it during a party. Even if everything is getting tied together in that chapter I feel like it could've been without so much of the empty, confused dialogs and half finished sentences.

Pargiters are a fairly large family and I felt very confused during the first chapters. I didn't remember the characters and they were never really re-introduced again. One of the characters that appears quite a lot is the oldest daughter of lord Pargiter - Eleanor. But towards the end I promise you will know all the characters!

During these years you get to see - see with you imagination i guess - the changes in London. I almost got the feeling that the characters were all just examples of how time affected a middle-class family between late 1800's to early 1900. But in one way, I want to know more about all of the characters. Virginia Woolf manages to build characters complex and unique enough that I want to read a novel about each and every one of them. This book, I feel at times, barley scratches the surface of their lives.

Time and change

In this very special book I can't decide if the characters or the time and the changes that come with it are in focus. You can deffiently read it and think about it from both perspectives. I can think back on it and remember a book that tells the story about a city and it's place in time and the changes that slowly happened to that city - London - during the turn of the century.

I can also think back on the book and remember the story about how a family develop and adjust to the times and how each and every life takes it own, unique turn.

Either way I look at it, this book really capture time and change without saying whether it's good or bad. It just accepts it as what it is - inevitable. I would recommend this book to everyone who have a bit of time to calmly read it through. If you read through it, waiting for something to happen, you will fail to see that things actually happen all the time.

So, my final thoughts about the book is: I recommend it to a certain type of person, one that is patient and don't get bored if it isn't a thriller.