Jennifer Connelly's Bookshelf
By Viginia Woolf
I am a huge fan of Virginia Woolf. I love the way she puts words together, and especially the way this book is structured. Two characters, Clarissa Dalloway and Septimus Warren Smith, are struggling with the aftereffects of World War I and, in a way, both searching for meaning in their lives. Early on, Clarissa thinks, "What a lark! What a plunge!" She uses all these exclamations and has this girlish way about her. For his part, Smith is running around rambling about universal love. He's passed into what we call madness. Though Clarissa feels vaguely unsatisfied, societal conventions, like the need to be punctual for dinner parties, still are important to her. At the end, you don't know who has found the truth. It's a fascinating musing on these shell-shocked people and the meaning of life in a war-torn society.