Now that I’d finally read Mrs Dalloway, it was clearly time to read Michael Cunningham’s The Hours, an homage to Woolf’s classic novel. Cunningham alternates among three women. Clarissa Vaughan is “Mrs Dalloway” a 50 something woman in NYC preparing for a party for a friend who calls her by the name of Woolf’s famous character. Mrs. Brown is a 50’s housewife in California, married to a recently returned decorated soldier of WWII. And Mrs. Woolf is Virginia, in the process of conceiving and beginning her famous novel.
I believe this book would be good even if you hadn’t read Mrs Dalloway. Yet reading them together was dizzying, in a good way, with echoes and enhancements as each made the other a much richer reading experience. I hesitate to watch the film of The Hours in case it might negatively influence my very happy experience with these books.