The Hours - Michael Cunningham Well, I sure as hell wish I'd read Mrs. Dalloway before I read this. I felt like I missed a lot of references that would have enriched the story.

A day in the life of three women from different times, so different they're like different worlds. Virginia Woolf, Clarissa, and Laura Brown.

Clarissa lives, I believe in the 80s (though it's never explicitly said). She is the most obviously Mrs. Dalloway-like. Her old friend, dying of AIDS, even calls her Mrs. Dalloway. She is planning a party for him because he has won a literary award. Her story was probably my least favorite. It seemed to fall flat, and I really didn't find myself particularly caring for Clarissa.

Laura Brown is a housewife in, I believe, the 50s. She is reading Mrs. Dalloway, and fighting bouts of depression on her husband's birthday, while attempting to care for her young child. This was probably my favorite storyline, the quotes in Laura's story about why she reads particularly hit home for me: "Laura Brown is trying to lose herself. No, that's not it exactly - she is trying to keep herself by gaining entry into a parallel world."

Virginia Woolf is writing Mrs. Dalloway. What I particularly enjoyed about this storyline was her husband and how well and deftly he was able to care for Virginia. In the tragic stories of writers, those that love them are often tossed to the wayside and it was wonderful to see it.

The "twist" at the very end of the novel made me go "duh!" I didn't see it coming at all, though it was so very obvious. I was impressed that I hadn't seen it from the very beginning.