The Voyage Out is the first novel by Virginia Woolf. Woolf began work on The Voyage Out in 1910 and had finished an early draft by 1912. The novel had a long and difficult gestation; it was not published until 1915, as it was written during a period in which Woolf was especially psychologically vulnerable.
It tells the story of Rachel Vinrace, a young woman who has previously led a sheltered life in the care of her aunts and knows very little about the world. This all changes on a trip to South America, when her other aunt, Helen, persuades her father to let her stay with her and her husband in Santa Marina. There, Rachel learns about the world and about herself, begins to assert her own identity and falls in love, before tragedy puts an abrupt end to her newfound happiness.