Book 936 Michael Cunningham – The Hours

I honestly feel that I’m doing the book a disservice by writing a review but anyway here goes :

The only Michael Cunningham novel I have read is A Home at the end of the World and I loved it. To this day I still reflect about it’s contents. Now I knew about The Hours reputation so I had an inkling that I would not be disappointed.  When finishing the book  an onrush of indescribable feelings surged through me.  Even four hours after reading that last sentence im shaking.

The chronicles one day in the life of three women in three different eras and places. First is 1920’s London and the author Virginia Woolf is planning out the rough sketches for Mrs. Dalloway. Then we jump to New York in the late nineties, where we meet Clarissa who is preparing a party for her best friend who is dying of AIDS and the third story focuses on Laura Brown in 1940’s LA, who is reading Mrs. Dalloway and is preparing (with her son) a birthday meal for her husband.

All three women are united by the fictional Mrs. Dalloway. I am not going to go into detail over here but the themes which run through the novel are Suicide, Lesbianism, writing, alienation and the need to break free are just some of the uniting factors.  Cunningham ties everything together brilliantly but this plot isn’t the only reason why I was elevated by this novel.

Cunningham’s use of language is simply astounding. The Hours reads like one long poem. Each simile and metaphor will grab you. Never have descriptions affected me so. Also it’s only a 225 page book so in order to get so much when using such little space also left me speechless.

I know I am probably overdoing it on the hyperbole front but it’s very rare that book does this to me so I savor it.

Has anyone else out there felt the same way about this book?