While not on my Classics Club List, I agree that Virginia Woolf's The Voyage Out is one worthy to be counted among the Classics. It's style is unique. It's story is not typical. It's heroine isn't much of a heroine. But yet despite all of that, it is written with beautiful imagery and an incredible amount of heart-felt emotion.
Virginia Woolf was a lady who faced a lot of tragedy and heartache. So much so that it drove to her to some dark times of depression and eventually to taking her own life. But when she came out of those dark times, she was able to write. She was able to put pen to paper and spin a story of love, life, family, heartache, travel and adventure. She was able to write in such a way that her readers could sit back for a moment (or a day) and breathe in the salty air that one would breathe while crossing the ocean or hear the sounds of the jungle while riding up the river. She wrote in such a way that her readers could ache with Rachel or question with Terrence or worry with Helen. Despite her own personal heartache and times of darkness, she managed to write a story that connected her to her readers.
While at times it was hard to understand Rachel or to even appreciate her, by the end you couldn't help but ache with her. She was a young lady who lived a sheltered, quiet life who didn't really know how to interact with people. She was a young lady who didn't understand some of the things that come with life that most people take for granted. She was a young lady who was afraid of how life would change when a man proposed to her. She was a young lady who just didn't know or understand. And because of that by the end, you can't help but feel sorry for her. You feel sorry that she doesn't know the joy of a warm hug and kiss from your husband. You feel sorry that she doesn't understand how much joy marriage can bring to one's life. You feel sorry that she doesn't understand that not everyone is silly and that people can be good friends and confidants. You feel sorry that she seems to have missed out on some meaningful relationships and life experiences.
Virginia Woolf wrote some masterpieces. All of them distinctly different. All of them distinctly emotional and telling of her own heart and thoughts. And that's part of what makes them classic. They have stood the test of time. They are timeless because there is always someone who is hurting, someone who is fearful, someone who is withdrawn, someone who is searching. And Virginia Woolf has written for all of those and so many more.