Before this year I had never read a novel by Virginia Woolf but I really wanted to. So this year I picked Mrs. Dalloway for one of my choices for my book club.
I bought my copy at the Shakespeare and Company book store in Paris, France while I was on my trip to Europe and started reading it on a train through Switzerland.
That may have something to do with my romantic feelings toward this book....
or maybe it is just a darn good book.
I was worried before reading Mrs. Dalloway as I found out that it is written in the stream of conciousness style which I loathed when I read The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner a few years ago.
But this was immediately different. I felt like she wrote how we actually think.
I could follow it and the characters felt and sounded different to me for the most part.
I actually enjoyed the seamless transitions from character to character.
There were no chapters and it would focus on one thing from one character's point of view and then slip into the mind of another person seeing the same thing.
Her writing is beautiful and her talent just shines in this book.
I had my pencil close by at all times to underline passages. These were some of my favorite:
"The compensation of growing old, Peter Walsh thought, coming out of Regent's Park, and holding his hat in his hand, was simply this; that the passions remain as strong as ever, but one has gained- at last!- the power which adds the supreme flavour to existence- the power of taking hold of experience, of turning it round, slowly, in the light."
"for what can one know even of the people one lives with every day?."
"Despairing of human relationships (people were so difficult), she often went into her garden and got from her flowers a peace which men and women never gave her."
There are so many more!
I highly recommend this book.