Reading The Waves is like dreaming you are a telepath on a beach where families vacation. You start with a group of children, listening to their internal dialogue and remembering schooldays, teachers, crushes, play time. And then you move to high schoolers, and on to young adults. You hear of first jobs, marriages, and on. Now in your dream, your subjects are quite poetic, all, and it doesn't matter that you keep their personalities separated in your mind because their voices are all one, really, especially when a tragedy or sadness unites them. Like a dream, you let the experience wash over you, in waves. Like a poem, you sense story and emotions rather than seek the plot.
And this goes on for a long time. The Waves is the longest poem I've ever read. Honestly, my feelings towards it are mixed. At times I was awed, inspired, at others my mind wandered. Still, I'll remember this novel and may return to it if only to revisit the novelty and mastery of Virginia Woolf's poetry.