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The Hours
by Michael Cunningham

Category: Fiction / General
228 pages; ISBN: 0312305060

Rating: 8/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Three women from different eras share the commonality of the female of the species. Book editor Mrs. Clarissa Vaughan, nicknamed "Mrs. Dalloway", struggles between her professional life and her personal life in modern day New York as she plans a gala event for a friend. In 1923, Mrs. Virginia Woolf begins writing her novel Mrs. Dalloway, but by 1941 the specter of war leaves her distraught and thinking suicide. A decade later, California housewife Mrs. Laura Brown reads Woolf’s classic Mrs. Dalloway as she wonders is that al there is to life at least with her perfect family. These three women from different ages of the twentieth century that share much in common as they encounter a haunting tedious existence as the mainstay of their daily living.

Rotating points of view, Michael Cunningham provides an interesting look at historical parallelism focusing on the more things change, the more they remain the same. The three women are clearly the keys to this tale. The two fictionalized protagonists cleverly persuade the readers to believe that they were just as real as Mrs. Woolf was. Though some passages seem winded, fans of deep character studies will feel that THE HOURS is the Holy Grail of the sub-genre with its insightful yet compassionate look at three women through their stories that interact yet stand alone as reflections on their lives.

Harriet Klausner


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