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Night and Day

Virginia Woolf

Book Overview: 

Night and Day is a novel by Virginia Woolf. Set in Edwardian London, Night and Day contrasts the daily lives of two friends, Katharine Hilbery and Mary Datchet. The novel examines the relationships between love, marriage, happiness, and success. (Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .She would come to feel a humorous sort of tenderness for him, a zealous care for his susceptibilities, and, after all, she considered, thinking of her father and mother, what is love?

Naturally, with her face, position, and background, she had experience of young men who wished to marry her, and made protestations of love, but, perhaps because she did not return the feeling, it remained something of a pageant to her. Not having experience of it herself, her mind had unconsciously occupied itself for some years in dressing up an image of love, and the marriage that was the outcome of love, and the man who inspired love, which naturally dwarfed any examples that came her way. Easily, and without correction by reason, her imagination made pictures, superb backgrounds casting a rich though phantom light upon the facts in the foreground. Splendid as the waters that drop with resounding thunder from high ledges of rock, and plunge downwards into the blue depths of ni. . . Read More

Community Reviews

2018 Update:

Although an early work by Woolf there is a development of her poetic style of writing in parts. Something that may etch the reader also is how good it is to be middle class. Aside from Katherine, most characters have jobs that start at 10:00 and pay reasonably well. Woolf...more

One way of describing Night and Day might be a comedy of manners without the comedy. Much of the novel takes place in a Victorian drawing room. Katherine Mansfield famously took exception to Woolf’s utter disregard of the war that had recently taken place. And it’s true there’s something distaste...more

Something about the truth was in it; how to see the truth is our great chance in this world.

The morning that I finished reading Night and Day I "wrote" a review out loud to my sister. It was better than anything I will ever write on goodreads because it doesn't die when I lose myself. It...more

Night and Day is Virginia’s attempt at reconciling past and the present. Here Virginia Woolf submits to the traditional form of a novel. Yet this submission is qualified, for one can see the traces of stream of conscious writing which was fully developed in her later novels.

Edwardian time marked...more

Bailed at 40%.

Clearly this wasn't the best Woolf to start with.

The writing style is very similar to my idol & Woolf's sometime friend Katherine Mansfield. But these beautifully crafted & observed gems are better suited the "slice of life" in the short story format...more

“Her words... were set down as gently and cautiously and exactly as the feet of a Persian cat stepping among china ornaments.”
Woolf, writing about Katherine, could just as easily have been describing her own novel.

Choices - What does it mean to be a woman today?

Are love and marriage inextricably linked - and what sort of love: plat...novel.Choices“Her

‘There are some books that LIVE’, she mused. ‘They are young with us, and they grow old with us’.

Mrs. Hilbery, of course, is quite right about that. And this was one such book for me, I suspect. At least, I feel now, upon closing it, that it reached the span of my years and, quite unexpected...more

London, Early 20thC. Four characters; two men and two women, estranged by their social status but tightly knotted by the invisible strings of their restrained yearnings feature the storyline of this novel.
More traditional in style and form than Woolf’s later and more exploratory works, Night and...more

"Night and Day" is Virginia Woolf's second novel. We can find some imperfections, especially in a little too theatrical structure. The characters often take assigned poses, moving like actors on a set, making the scenes somewhat artificial. But already, the softness of the woolfian rhythm makes fly....more

Every now and then, when you think you’re having a busy and difficult week, you come across the book. There is an indescribable feeling you get, once you’ve come into contact with such words blended with adroitness, words which add measure to the beat of human thought through a scheme of scenes. How...more

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