Mrs Dalloway is critically regarded as one of the quintessential exemplars of both stream-of-consciousness writing and the ethos of the Modernist era. Stylistically stunning, the innovative narrative follows a day in the life of protagonist Clarissa Dalloway, an aristocratic socialite struggling to find meaning and contentment in post-war London. Juxtaposed with her, Septimus Warren Smith, a shell-shocked combatant attempting to readjust to life after war, struggling with the difficulties of a fractured mind and a creeping madness which threatens to destroy him.
The narrative voice flits effortlessly between the many characters, blending their thoughts, memories and perceptions in order to provide an insight into the psychological processes of a disillusioned generation attempting to restore normality after fundamental assumptions about reality and human nature have been shattered by conflict.
This is a beautifully crafted novel, a deceptively quick and easy read despite the rich narrative structure and content, and a must-read for all those interested in Modernist literature.
Everyone will enjoy this book: for its characters, its story and its vivid descriptions of post-war London. Moreover, for Modernist scholars it provides an exquisite example of the narrative innovation which characterises early 20th century writing.