Chosen by the lovely Matthew. (See his other suggestion here)
What he says: 'It's just superb. She's such a beautiful writer, and she has people's ways and mind processes down to a tee.'
Amazon blurb: 'This simple and haunting story captures the transience of life and its surrounding emotions.
To the Lighthouse is the most autobiographical of Virginia Woolf's novels. It is based on her own early experiences, and while it touches on childhood and children's perceptions and desires, it is at its most trenchant when exploring adult relationships, marriage and the changing class-structure in the period spanning the Great War.The modernist novel [...] focuses on sensations and experiences of the visits to the Island of Skye, marking the milestone in English literature by its use of streams of consciousness.'
Unfortunately I've never read any of Woolf's fiction, I have, however, read her essay 'The Novels of Thomas Hardy' (found in The Common Reader: Second Series and online here); she articulates so brilliantly why Hardy was such an excellent writer. If her essays are anything to go by, this book is not to be missed.
Have you ever read anything by Virginia Woolf? What did you think? If you have a different 'must read' book let me know either in the comments or via twitter :)
Buy from Amazon.