The Hours by Michael Cunningham

The Hours by Michael CunninghamThis novel describes one day in the lives of three women and interweaves their actions with the plot and dialogue of Virginia Wolfe’s book “Mrs. Dalloway”. Wolfe is herself a character in the novel, struggling against an eating disorder and her encroaching mental illness while she begins to write a new book. Laura Brown is a young bride struggling against post WWII conventions and suburban lifestyle to find her own individuality. Clarissa Vaughan is a successful professional woman struggling to come to terms with the terminal illness of her best friend. As the hours of the day draw to a close, the outlook and lives of these three women have all been permanently altered.

What the Armchair Critics Thought:
We were moved and impressed by the way these women were realistically portrayed and their lives reflected similar themes. The dialogue and scenes paralleled the action in Mrs. Dalloway in a striking and very clever fashion. Many of us had also watched the film and enjoyed the way scenes were mirrored in each of the women’s eras (such as the three women putting up their hair). We enjoyed the way that ordinary female activities such as cooking, entertaining and shopping were given their due. The book is a wonderful tribute to Wolfe’s novel.

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