All the Lives We Ever Lived
A wise, lyrical memoir about the power of literature to help us read our own lives--and see clearly the people we love most.Katharine Smyth was a student at Oxford when she first read Virginia Woolf's modernist masterpiece To the Lighthouse in the comfort of an English sitting room, and in the companionable silence she shared with her father. After his death--a calamity that claimed her favorite person--she returned to that beloved novel as a way of wrestling with his memory and understanding her own grief. Smyth's story moves between the New England of her childhood and Woolf's Cornish shores and Bloomsbury squares, exploring universal questions about family, loss, and homecoming. Through her inventive, highly personal reading of To the Lighthouse, and her artful adaptation of its groundbreaking structure, Smyth guides us toward a new vision of Woolf's most demanding and rewarding novel--and crafts an elegant reminder of literature's ability to clarify and console.Braiding memoir, literary criticism, and biography, All the Lives We Ever Lived is a wholly original debut: a love letter from a daughter to her father, and from a reader to her most cherished author

All the Lives We Ever Lived Details

TitleAll the Lives We Ever Lived
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 29th, 2019
PublisherCrown Publishing Group (NY)
ISBN-139781524760625
Rating
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography Memoir, Biography

All the Lives We Ever Lived Review

  • Jackie
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book as a giveaway. It’s an alright read. It’s a memoir where the author compares her life to Virginia Woolf life as well as her Lighthouse novel. The author clearly shows comparisons and the book is a nice and easy read. I can see someone loving this book while others may not. Depends on what you like to read
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  • Kerry (lines i underline)
    January 1, 1970
    All the Lives We Ever Lived is an evocative portrait of the deep bond between the author and her dynamic, difficult father. It is an exploration of her overwhelming grief at his death. In her struggle to communicate the complexity of that experience, Smyth turns to Virginia Woolf, to the book that has long been her lodestar at life's most difficult moments: To the Lighthouse. Smyth draws comparisons between her relationships and those of the characters in Woolf's masterwork. She admires how Wool All the Lives We Ever Lived is an evocative portrait of the deep bond between the author and her dynamic, difficult father. It is an exploration of her overwhelming grief at his death. In her struggle to communicate the complexity of that experience, Smyth turns to Virginia Woolf, to the book that has long been her lodestar at life's most difficult moments: To the Lighthouse. Smyth draws comparisons between her relationships and those of the characters in Woolf's masterwork. She admires how Woolf grapples with the deepest, most fundamental human questions about childhood memories, love, family life, and loss. Like Woolf, Smyth struggles to reach a sense of clarity in her experience of love and loss. She finds that capturing these essential aspects of humanity in words to be an elusive task.The author herself has a beautiful way with language. This book made me want to read more of her work. I underlined many passages in this memoir and Smyth's love of Woolf's text certainly made me want to revisit it soon. I do think that I would have appreciated Smyth's dive into sections of To the Lighthouse much more if I had a fresher awareness of Woolf's novel. There were passages that didn't resonate as much for me because of this, and I do think readers do need to have read To the Lighthouse to appreciate this book. All the Lives We Ever Lived did make me think about which book, if any book, would be that one for me, the one that I might come back to again and again for wisdom and guidance. You can have a lifelong relationship with a book, as Smyth proves here. The idea that there could be one book that would light the way for you through life is an irresistible thought for any reader. What would yours be?
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  • Beverly
    January 1, 1970
    This wasn't the one normal books I read but it was pretty good. I read it in one setting I recommend that anyone should check it out get out of your comfort zone, Some of the book made me think of my own father so I related well to this. Was well written
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  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    A powerful, emotional, moving memoir by Katharine Smyth.All The Lives We Ever Lived takes place in an English Class where Katharine Smyth first came across To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolfs.After her father's death she returned to seek solice and comfort in that novel.Readers are taken on a memorable journey between her childhood memories and Virginia Woolfs Bloomsbury Squares.Comfort reading at its finest in seeking answers and solutions to family loss, heartache, and homecoming.Beautiful!Th A powerful, emotional, moving memoir by Katharine Smyth.All The Lives We Ever Lived takes place in an English Class where Katharine Smyth first came across To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolfs.After her father's death she returned to seek solice and comfort in that novel.Readers are taken on a memorable journey between her childhood memories and Virginia Woolfs Bloomsbury Squares.Comfort reading at its finest in seeking answers and solutions to family loss, heartache, and homecoming.Beautiful!Thank you to Katharine, the publisher, NetGalley, and Aldiko for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
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  • miss.mesmerized mesmerized
    January 1, 1970
    The death of her father has left Katharine pondering about her life and the people playing major roles in it. Amongst them is not only her family but also Virginia Woolf whose works deeply impressed her when she was a student at Oxford. The parallels between “To the Lighthouse” and her own life are stunning, especially when it comes to the impact that places have on the people. It is her family’s summer house in Rhode Island that first and foremost underlines this impression. Re-reading Virginia The death of her father has left Katharine pondering about her life and the people playing major roles in it. Amongst them is not only her family but also Virginia Woolf whose works deeply impressed her when she was a student at Oxford. The parallels between “To the Lighthouse” and her own life are stunning, especially when it comes to the impact that places have on the people. It is her family’s summer house in Rhode Island that first and foremost underlines this impression. Re-reading Virginia Woolf gives her the opportunity to understand her grief as well as her family relationships and to finally cope with her father’s passing.Katharine Smyth makes it easy for the reader to follow her thoughts. Even though it is some years since I last read “To the Lighthouse”, I could effortlessly find my way back into the novel and see the thread that Smyth also saw. I found it an interesting approach for a memoir or biography and I liked it a lot.There are two major aspects that I’d like to mention. First of all, Katharine Smyth cleverly shows how literature can help to overcome hard situations and to find solace in reading. It has been a concept since the ancient times, the classic Greek drama with its purgatory function and the possibility of a katharsis which helps you to sort out your feelings and opens the way to go on in life. Second, I also appreciated the author’s frankness. It is certainly not easy to write about the own father’s addiction and his slow deterioration, yet, the process of writing might have helped her, too, and embellishing things would have been counterproductive here. An interesting memoir which was also beautifully written that made me think about which novel I would pick as a parallel to my own life.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    https://wordpress.com/post/booksnooks...Beautiful. This book is a breathtaking tribute to life, love, and literature. Since the age of twenty, Katharine Smyth has been enamored with the book To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. In All the Lives We Ever Lived, she blurs the line between memoir and books about books as she tells how the book impacted her life. She writes of her relationship with her father, growing up, loss, and turbulence as To the Lighthouse weaves its way around her stories. Th https://wordpress.com/post/booksnooks...Beautiful. This book is a breathtaking tribute to life, love, and literature. Since the age of twenty, Katharine Smyth has been enamored with the book To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. In All the Lives We Ever Lived, she blurs the line between memoir and books about books as she tells how the book impacted her life. She writes of her relationship with her father, growing up, loss, and turbulence as To the Lighthouse weaves its way around her stories. There is also the backdrop of a glamorous childhood complete with lake house.If you want a truly full reading experience, check out Katharine’s Instagram where you can view pictures of Virginia Woolf sites as well as photographs of Katharine and her dad.I expect sales of Woolf’s novel will soar upon the publication of this book on January 29th. I myself have not read it and now not only long to read it, but am also dreaming of summer, on the beach, near a lighthouse.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    beautiful.
  • Phi Beta Kappa Authors
    January 1, 1970
    Katharine SmythΦBK, Brown University, 2003AuthorFrom the publisher: Katharine Smyth was a student at Oxford when she first read Virginia Woolf's modernist masterpiece To the Lighthouse in the comfort of an English sitting room, and in the companionable silence she shared with her father. After his death--a calamity that claimed her favorite person--she returned to that beloved novel as a way of wrestling with his memory and understanding her own grief. Smyth's story moves between the New England Katharine SmythΦBK, Brown University, 2003AuthorFrom the publisher: Katharine Smyth was a student at Oxford when she first read Virginia Woolf's modernist masterpiece To the Lighthouse in the comfort of an English sitting room, and in the companionable silence she shared with her father. After his death--a calamity that claimed her favorite person--she returned to that beloved novel as a way of wrestling with his memory and understanding her own grief. Smyth's story moves between the New England of her childhood and Woolf's Cornish shores and Bloomsbury squares, exploring universal questions about family, loss, and homecoming. Through her inventive, highly personal reading of To the Lighthouse, and her artful adaptation of its groundbreaking structure, Smyth guides us toward a new vision of Woolf's most demanding and rewarding novel--and crafts an elegant reminder of literature's ability to clarify and console.Braiding memoir, literary criticism, and biography, All the Lives We Ever Lived is a wholly original debut: a love letter from a daughter to her father, and from a reader to her most cherished author.
    more
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