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by Priya Parmar | Read by Emilia Fox, Clare Corbett, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Daniel Pirrie, Anthony Calf

Diary entries, letters, and telegrams take listeners into the world of painter Vanessa Stephen (later Bell). Emilia Fox's portrayal of Vanessa is layered and intimate as she and her siblings gather the friends (Lytton Strachey, Clive Bell, Leonard Woolf, E.M. Forster, et al.) who will become the Bloomsbury Group. Fox is subtle and engrossing as Vanessa navigates love and loss as well as relationships with her family—especially her sister, the brilliant, tempestuous, troubled writer Virginia Woolf. Fox handles the bulk of the narrative, while the other actors read correspondence among her coterie; Julian Rhind-Tutt particularly stands out as an appealingly flamboyant Strachey. The plot veers occasionally into soap opera, but the portraits are so believable and their world of art and literature so lovingly drawn that fiction and history are indistinguishable. J.M.D. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine