Woolf, Virginia "Mrs. Dalloway" - 1925
This is supposed to be Virginia Woolf's greatest novel, a book about the life of a woman, a single day in the life of a woman. A "higher class" woman at the beginning of the last century preparing a party and seeing it through.
This novel shows how much women had achieved since Jane Austen's days - and how much they hadn't. It's about halfway between Ms. Austen's lifetime and today and if you consider how slow women's rights progressed, you can guess how long it is still going to take until women and men are going to be equal, have the same chances, if ever!
From the back cover:
"Mrs. Dalloway chronicles a June day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway–a day that is taken up with running minor errands in preparation for a party and that is punctuated, toward the end, by the suicide of a young man she has never met. In giving an apparently ordinary day such immense resonance and significance–infusing it with the elemental conflict between death and life - Virginia Woolf triumphantly discovers her distinctive style as a novelist. Originally published in 1925, Mrs. Dalloway is Woolf’s first complete rendering of what she described as the “luminous envelope” of consciousness: a dazzling display of the mind’s inside as it plays over the brilliant surface and darker depths of reality.
I also read "To the Lighthouse" with the book club which I enjoyed immensely.