Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The White Garden: a novel of Virginia Woolf

If you're a fan of Virginia Woolf, Vita Sackville-West, the Bloomsbury group, or you like garden-themed cozy mysteries, I think you'll enjoy this one. I picked it up because I'm intrigued by authors who create fiction about other authors; it's like the respectable version of fan fiction, in which you borrow the author's life rather than their characters for your own work.

Unfortunately, I reached the end of the book feeling very apathetic about the whole thing. The characters never grabbed my imagination (or rather, these fictional versions of them didn't), and I wanted to know more about where the facts ended and Barron's storytelling began. Maybe it would have helped if I had read a book about Vita's garden first, seen some photos of it--gotten some base knowledge of the real before delving into the fictional.

p. 34: "Lists were a staple of Jo's life. They made her feel purposeful and competent, and they were usually written in red ink. "

This is so true for me, and the color of the ink really does make a difference. Oh, it's always a treat when I see my own absurd quirks reflected in fictional characters!

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