Book review

Mrs Dalloway

Virginia Woolf

In a few words

Published in 1925, Mrs Dalloway is a “classic” that still feels very fresh and relevant to today’s hectic lifestyles.

The story takes place over the course of one day, beginning with the activities of Clarissa Dalloway, a woman of London high society preparing the last-minute details for a party she is hosting that night. Through the course of the day we hear her thoughts, fears and musings and meet different characters that all interweave in Mrs Dalloway’s life, including that of shell-shocked WWI veteran, Septimus Smith.

Great for

Our book group has been together nearly ten years and we always include a ‘classic' in our selection for the year. It’s a great way to read and discuss those books that have been around to stand the test of time. It’s a great insight into different writing styles, different eras and acknowledging those incredible authors from the past! There is a great selection in the BDS catalogue including Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Catcher in the Rye and The Bell Jar.

Why I love this book

This book was my first experience of the “stream of consciousness” style of writing — and I loved it! It gave me such a great insight into Clarissa Dalloway’s relationships; the highs, the lows, her insecurities, her judgements and her observations. We get to see how she views the world, herself and how she appears to others.

I find it amazing that this book was written in 1924 and yet still felt relatable in 2022! The book is complex with all the switching between different characters and various trains of thought but I loved the language, the descriptions, the humour, the sadness — all of these things made the book feel personal and accessible.

My one criticism would be

Not a criticism, but some may be put off at how dense the writing on the page seems. I think because it's written in narrated monologue style there aren’t many pauses or breaks and it quickly leaps from one train of thought to another — but I kind of loved that as that’s how my brain works most of the time!

Aimee Bloy

Book Dispatch

Aimee likes to read a variety of genres and styles and this is reflected in her book group's choices: Each year they try to include a mix of fiction and non-fiction, a New Zealand author and a classic.

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