Like Carlene, I was intrigued by preponderance of plain verbs in all of yesterday's examples. Given that most contemporary creative writing manuals celebrate vivid verbs and deride adjectives and adverbs, I think these five women novelists prove that so-called writing "rules" are often nothing more than fashion instructions.
In this same vein, note that both Woolf and Spark turn to passive-voice constructions. Such constructions essentially invert subject-predicate sentence order. A sentence in active voice reads "The dog bit the mail carrier," whereas one in passive voice reads "The mail carrier was bitten by the dog." Most academic publishers specifically instruct their copyeditors to delete as many passive-voice constructions as possible. The reasoning is that (1) passive voice is unnecessarily wordy and (2) it allows the sentence's "doer" to avoid taking responsibility for the act.
In academic prose, which has an unfortunate bent toward jargon, pomposity, and clotted repetition, these preferences make sense. In art, however, the passive voice is a very useful and, I think, overlooked tool. It can (1) quietly highlight or shade certain actors and actions, (2) transmit tonal irony or narrative detachment, (3) intensify the beauty of a sentence cadence, and so on and so on.
Now tell me what you think of those stacked prepositional phrases . . . or the lack thereof.