If you've found Virginia Woolf's work challenging to read, try this book. I found it more accessible than any of her works I have tried. Still challenging, but so rewarding.
This book is currently being discussed by the readers of the New York Times Book Review. The book covers one day in the life of a woman preparing an important party. But her thoughts range from the past, through the present to visions the future.
The portrait of a single day in a woman's life in pre-World War London, it's the novel that inspired the book and movie, The Hours.
Heralded as Virginia Woolf's greatest novel, this is a vivid portrait of a single day in a woman's life. When we meet her, Mrs. Clarissa Dalloway is preoccupied with the last-minute details of party preparation while in her mind she is something much more than a perfect society hostess. As she readies her house, she is flooded with remembrances of faraway times. And, met with the realities of the present, Clarissa reexamines the choices that brought her there, hesitantly looking ahead to the unfamiliar work of growing old.
Clarissa Dalloway, a fashionable London hostess, is to give an important party. Through her thoughts on that day and through her memories of the past, her character is gradually revealed. And so are the other personalities who have touched on her life. Their loves and hates, their tragedies and comedies, all are vividly, intimately - and quite uniquely - brought to life.
Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf's fourth novel, marked an important stage in her development as a writer. With this book she finally broke from the form of the traditional English novel, establishing herself as a writer of genius.
Very fine writing. It's style was revolutionary in its time, and has now become a standard fictional technique. A must-read classic.
If you were to relate the book to modern times - you would have to relate Mrs. Dalloway to the popular TV show, Desperate Housewives.
Spend a day experiencing the innermost thoughts, feelings, elations, and disappointments of a variety of people with intersecting lives. The day begins and ends in the 1920s with Clarissa Dalloway's party, and the people - past & present - that are important to her. It's a chance to experience what Woolf described as "the enormous within the everyday", but be prepared for a meandering journey. Pretty much plot-free, some parts are absolutely riveting, some parts are flat-out boring, but overall it's about delving within and mining the inconsistency of the human psyche for material.
In this vivid portrait of a single day in a woman's life, Mrs. Clarissa Dalloway is preoccupied with the last-minute details of party preparation- fresh flower shopping, new dress buying, and festive room decorating- while in her mind she is something much more than a perfect sociaty hostess. As she readies her house for friends and neighbors, she is flooded with remembrances of faraway times- the passionate loves of her carefree youth, her practical decision to marry her conservative, reasonable husband, the approach and retreat fo war's confusion. And, met with the choices that brought her there, hesitantly looking ahead to the unfamiliar work of growing old. This revelatory and experimental novel melts together the past, the present, and visions of the future in each and every moment, revealing th personal and social nuances that give Mrs. Dalloway its memorable richness and depth. From the introspective Clarissa, to the lover who never fully recovered from her rejection, tp a war-ravaged stranger in the park, each character exposes the daily events and the constant interactions that connect them with the rest of humanity. Heralded as Woolf's greatest work of fiction, Mrs. Dalloway is not only a thorough rendering of a vivid human life, it is the outline on paper of human conciousness.
This book was good, however it has no chapter divisions, so I found it hard to read. Overall, I enjoyed the story, it's very interesting!
A classic novel and very interesting reading
Thoughts and actions in the day of the life of one woman.