Virginia Woolf transformed the art of the novel with To The Lighthouse.
There are few words available to me to describe this work satisfactorily. I will, however, try. It is brilliant, moving, humbling and inspiring.
To The Lighthouse is a transcendant work by a woman who knew no relief from the burdens of great talent, who labored to sharpen her writer's instrument until she could express the inexpressible, who continued to write truth while every force of the universe laid siege to her attentions. Still, she looked close and described what she witnessed patiently, attentively and with an unbreakable will to create a reality that made obsolete every achievement that preceded her.
To The Lighthouse studies the interplay of forces at work in a family in its anticipation of its season at the shore on the Isle of Sky in Scotland. It observes the tangle of realities experienced by individual members of the Ramsay family at the shore. It even focuses on the subtlest details of the family's cottage through the seasons. The novel pulses with possibility like the rhythmic sweep of the lighthouse's searing light and its pregnant gothic shadow.
Virginia Woolf masterfully orchestrates the details of inner furies and ocean weather systems, of seasonal shifts, of ephemeral dreams and desires and the leaden facts of everyday compromise. She wrote a masterwork.
From WIKIPEDIA: In 1998, the Modern Library named To the Lighthouse No. 15 on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. In 2005, the novel was chosen by TIMEmagazine as one of the one hundred best English-language novels from 1923 to present.
Harvest/ Harcourt, Copyright 1927, renewed by Leonard Woolf 1955.