Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar

Vanessa and Her SisterIn Vanessa and Her Sister, Priya Parmar has brought the members of the famous Bloomsbury Group to life in this powerful novel. The group is filled with incredibly talented intellectuals, artists, and writers in the early 1900’s. Within the Bloomsbury Group are the sisters, Victoria Woolf and Vanessa Bell, and that is whom this story centers around.

The story is told from Vanessa’s perspective and revolves around the very strange and intriguing relationship between the sisters. Vanessa is the elder sister and while she is calm, grounded, and wise, Virginia is brilliant, unstable, and constantly seeking Vanessa’s full attention. Throughout the book we see how far Virginia will go to be closer to Vanessa…

I also loved the way that Parmar brought Lytton Strachey to life with an outrageous personality and charming dialogue. I adored his character.

Vanessa and Her Sister was filled with so many insightful and powerful quotes that I couldn’t pick just one! Here are a few of my top picks:

“…It is a narrow precipice with Virginia. Too much affection given to someone else and she can topple over, too little and she gloats.”

“I worry that life is always in the future and that I am always here, in the preamble straightening up the cushions so that life will go smoothly once it does begin.” 

“Affection is so much easier to give when it is not owed.” 

“In my deep bones, I have always known that Virginia is in love with me.” 

“…She basks in my protectiveness, but it only spurs her on to recklessness.”

“’Hope is an unbreakable habit.’”

Priya Parmar has done an incredible job bringing this time period and these people to life in a beautiful narrative.

I received a copy of Vanessa and Her Sister from Random House in exchange for an honest review.

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