Vanessa and Her Sister

Vanessa and Her Sister

A Novel

Audiobook CD - 2014
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Random House, Inc.
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 bright, outrageous artistic friends who will grow into legend and come to be known as the Bloomsbury Group. And at the center of this 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 artists and intellectuals 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.

Read by a Full Cast:
“Virginia” read by Clare Corbett
“Vanessa” read by Emilia Fox
“Lytton Strachey” read by Julian Rhind-Tutt  
“Leonard Woolf” read by Daniel Pirrie
“Roger Fry” read by Anthony Calf

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. 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 amidst 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 Under the Wide and Starry Sky
 
“I loved this brilliant depiction of the true price of genius. Parmar’s novel shines a bright light into the empty spaces between the lines of history.”—Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand
 
“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, but because of how she has caught the two sisters at the center of that swirl. It is beautiful, wise, and as deft as a stroke upon the canvas.”—Sarah Blake, author of The Postmistress

Baker & Taylor
Set in early 1900s London, a historical novel examines the adult lives of sisters Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell, focusing on the controversial and popular circle of artists and writers known as the Bloomsbury Group.

Baker
& Taylor

Set in early 1900s London, a historical novel examines the adult lives of sisters Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell, focusing on the controversial and popular circle of artists and writers known as the Bloomsbury Group. Simultaneous.

Publisher: New York : Random House Audio, p2014
ISBN: 9780553398441
Branch Call Number: CDBOOK FIC PAR
Characteristics: 9 sound discs (11 hrs.) :,digital ;,4 3/4 in.
Additional Contributors: Fox, Emilia

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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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