For my 1900-1919 book for the 2016 Reading Challenge is Night and Day by Virginia Woolf. Virginia Woolf is one of my favorite authors of all time. I love her books, and this one is no different. In this book dealing with women’s suffrage and whether or not a marriage can coexist and if marriage is necessary. Following four different people in their daily lives.
The book opens to an upper middle class family. In this family we are introduced Katherine Hilbery who is having tea at her parents house. At the party she meets Ralph Denham a well known solicitor. Ralph falls for her, yet Katherine is already in a relationship with another man. She becomes engaged to William Rodney, however, she finds that she won’t be happy with him. Going further into the novel we are introduced to Mary Datchet, a young women who is a leader in women’s suffrage. Mary has a short lived love life, but she finds herself in love with Ralph Denham. Yet, Mary never marries as she realizes that Ralph loves Katherine. Katherine does not communicate much with Mary, but she does struggle with love and personal freedom. The relationship between Katherine and William falls apart when Katherine discovers the poet is strongly attached to her grandfathers status a well known poet. Katherine eventually leaves William and ends up becoming engaged to Ralph. Although, Ralph does become taken with Cassandra Otway, a cousin of Katherine, whom he marries in the end. Throughout each one’s love trials the book ends as it does with the characters going on to lead happy lives with their own journeys in a time of change.
Night and Day by Virginia Woolf is a true classic. It is easy to follow as each of the four main characters encounter questions of change that were going on in their own time. Published on October 20, 1919, Night and Day is one of Virginia Woolf’s masterpieces.