Synopses & Reviews
From a New York Times best-selling author, a boldly imagined portrait of Virginia Woolf that sheds new light on the events that preceded her fatal immersion in the River Ouse in 1941
On April 18, 1941, twenty-two days after Virginia Woolf went for a walk near her weekend house in Sussex and never returned, her body was reclaimed from the River Ouse. Norah Vincent’s Adeline reimagines the events that brought Woolf to the riverbank, offering us a denouement worthy of its protagonist.
With poetic precision and psychological acuity, Vincent channels Virginia and Leonard Woolf, T. S. and Vivienne Eliot, Lytton Strachey and Dora Carrington, laying bare their genius and their blind spots, their achievements and their failings, from the inside out. And haunting every page is Adeline, the name given to Virginia Stephen at birth, which becomes the source of Virginia’s greatest consolation, and her greatest torment.
Intellectually and emotionally disarming, Adeline—a vibrant portrait of Woolf and her social circle, the infamous Bloomsbury Group, and a window into the darkness that both inspired and doomed them all—is a masterpiece in its own right by one of our most brilliant and daring writers.
“Skillfully rendered and emotionally insightful.” — Publishers Weekly
“Vincent is a sensitive recorder of a mind’s movements as it shifts in and out of inspiration, and as it fights before submitting to despair.” — Carlene Bauer, New York Times Book Review
“Adeline is a moving . . . portrait of what it means to be brilliant and tormented. Understanding Woolf’s darkness is as difficult as understanding some of her work, but Vincent rises to the challenge, creating something beautiful in the process.” — City Journal
“Daring . . . [Vincent’s] psychological approach is intriguing.” — USA Today
“Readers in search of a crash course on the Bloomsbury circle and the machinations of Woolf’s fevered mind will appreciate Vincent’s attempts to illuminate both, but her dark portrait of Woolf’s agonizing journey through a life marked by psychic pain will hold the most appeal for those already familiar with this sad story of genius and madness.” — Kirkus Reviews
“[An] electrifyingly good novel . . . by a master of discomfort.” — New Statesman
“Norah Vincent’s new novel, Adeline, is a bold portrait of Virginia Woolf from her conception of To the Lighthouse in 1925 to her suicide in 1941 . . . The reader comes to understand Virginia’s complex artistic process and her lifelong struggle with mental illness.” — Historical Novel Society
“Adeline is an intimate portrait of a sister, a wife, a woman, and most importantly, an artist. In this vivid, deeply moving novel, Vincent brings us beyond the world of legend directly into the passions, the struggles, the ambitions, and finally the genius that is Virginia Woolf.”— Alison Smith, author of Name All the Animals
“Adeline deftly walks the fine line between story and scholarship—an entirely fresh reading of Woolf’s work, brought alive by a writer of considerable imagination, insight, and skill.” — Marya Hornbacher, author of Wasted and Madness
“Spare, exacting, deeply imagined, Adeline brings us as close as we are likely to get to the secret negotiations that fed Woolf’s art.” — Kathleen Hill, author of Who Occupies This House
“Adeline is a singular feat of the creative imagination in which the reader is taken inside the consciousness of a major artist in a way that is both completely believable and commandingly compelling. It is wholly worthy of its great subject.” — Terry Teachout, author of Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington
From a New York Times best-selling author, a boldly imagined portrait of Virginia Woolf that sheds new light on the events that preceded her fatal immersion in the Ouse River in 1941.
About the Author
NORAH VINCENT is the New York Times best-selling author of Self-Made Man, as well as two other books. Formerly an op-ed columnist for the Los Angeles Times, she has also contributed regularly to Salon, the Advocate, and the Village Voice. She lives in New York City.