It is a summer's day in London and Clarissa Dalloway, fashionable and wealthy society hostess, prepares for a party. Woolf captures the inner world of Mrs Dalloway and of those whose lives are interwoven with hers, including that of shell-shocked WWI veteran, Septimus Smith.
Comments from Groups
A beautiful book which we all enjoyed. Endless discussion. Timaru 013
We all agreed that it was very difficult reading a novel written in the old style ie/ many words used when one would suffice. Only half of the group managed to complete the book, but those who did really enjoyed it. Auckland 293
In the main, our group found this an interesting book, and it provided a wealth of material for discussion. There was a general feeling that, taken in small bits, it was more easily absorbed as there is a wealth of descriptive language. A second reading would be quite worthwhile. Christchurch 010
We all really loved the language, and the clever way of showing a character's mental processes. Big round of applause! Wellington 066
This was a little 'wordy' for some of our readers. We enjoyed reading about Virginia Woolf in the notes; she certainly mixed with important people in the literary world. Gisborne 002
Although our group agreed that the language of 'Mrs Dalloway' was beautiful and at times poetic, and that the novelette was interesting as a period piece, we didn't give it a high rating for enjoyment. Still, we all thought that reading Virginia Woolf had been a worthwhile exercise.
Most struggled, whilst regretting they had not devoted time and devotion to this book. Those who did finish found it wonderful - the words, poetic descriptions, the flitting around ideas/ people and places. Needed to concentrate but well worth the effort. Had to be read at a pace we are no longer willing/able () to slow to... Despite most members not finishing, a lively discussion was generated on many subjects - feminism then and now, politics of the time, social rituals, and the massive social upheaval generated by war...
Not everyone enjoyed reading the book, but the discussion was very lively, with everyone involved.
The group found it a challenging read, and not relevant enough 100 years later.
We have a diverse group of readers; 'Mrs Dalloway' was chosen by a member who has a strong love of literature, a member who is not only interested in the narrative but also the prose and writing style. Most of the members who finished the book struggled with Virginia Woolf's writing style, but I have to say it was one of the best group discussions we have had. There is something to be said for going back and visiting classic literature. We would recommend this novel for groups that are interested in exploring and examining notable authors.
A difficult read for many but very thought provoking. Virginia Woolf a great writer. A podcast on BBC on an essay of 'Mrs Dalloway' helped us understand the book.
A very good book to discuss. By way of introduction we were shown photos of the author and her family members, as well as information about the Bloomsbury group.