Virginia Woolf’s novel, Mrs. Dalloway, is a genuine favorite of mine. I have read it twice and will be rereading it for a class this semester. I am excited about that. So, given my admiration for that novel, I was very curious to read Daughter Dalloway. I admire the audaciousness on the author’s part in taking on a modern classic but was not sure how I would feel about the book. So, I will just say upfront, that I enjoyed this title.
Many people and scenes from Mrs. Dalloway are in this book’s pages. Readers will undoubtedly remember Mrs. Dalloway going out to buy flowers, as she does here and may also recall her relationship with her husband, with Peter, and with others who are found here as well.
The story is told in differing time frames and perspectives. One focus is on Elizabeth who is the Daughter Dalloway. Readers get to know her in her contemporary time period and also as she was when younger. She is a complex character who has quite a mother with whom to contend. Elizabeth also wants to be her own person, not just a daughter.
Readers of Mrs. Dalloway also will remember Septimus. His sister is the other focus of the story. She bravely goes to London to try and find her brother and to understand the course that his life has taken. Will she find him and, if so, what will she find?
The lives of these two women intersect over the course of the novel. Each learns a lot about herself and those around her as a result.
I think that historical novel will be enjoyed by those with some connection to Mrs.Dalloway although there may be others who feel that they do not want anything to interfere with their love of the original titie. Those who have not read Mrs. Dalloway may find that they want to after spending time with Elizabeth and Octavia.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for this title. All opinions are my own.
Pub date: 14 March 2023