On April 18, 1941, 22 days after Virginia Woolf went for a walk near her weekend house in Sussex and never returned, her body was reclaimed from the River Ouse. Norah Vincent's Adeline reimagines the events that brought Woolf to the riverbank, offering us a denouement worthy of its protagonist.
With poetic precision and psychological acuity, Vincent channels Virginia and Leonard Woolf, T. S. and Vivienne Eliot, Lytton Strachey and Dora Carrington, laying bare their genius and their blind spots, their achievements and their failings, from the inside out. And haunting every minute is Adeline, the name given to Virginia Stephen at birth, which becomes the source of Virginia's greatest consolation and her greatest torment.
I've been reading Virginia Woolf novels recently, and was drawn to this novel of Woolf by all the glowing reviews I've read. Imagine my surprise when within minutes, I found myself deeply disappointed, even confused, to be listening to a book that I hated. Every Woolf cliche was dragged out in the first pages. The writing was so heavy handed! The reading was so heavy handed. The dialogue, inner and outer, was so ponderous! Reviewers claim Vincent captures Woolf's stream of consciousness style, but Vincent's is to Woolf what crayon writing is to calligraphy. I honestly hated this book, and think it's an insult to Woolf's genius and memory. I wouldn't give the book any stars, but the site insists.