By Michael Cunningham
Reading The Hours was truly a pleasure. I felt while reading it that it was more akin to poetry than prose in many ways. Cunningham painted pictures with words and transported me effortlessly to the various settings of his story.
This book is beautiful. The writing is beautiful. The characters are beautiful. The light, the colors, the textures; everything has the aura of beauty around it. Through all the beauty of the work, the themes of depression and suicide are given a thoughtful examination. Each of the three women in The Hours reflects on death and the implications of their own demise for the people around them. The very moroseness of these contemplative thoughts adds to the allure.
This is not a book to read if you do not find merit in sadness. Actually, I take that back. This is exactly the book to read in that case. It may expand your awareness. I would recommend that nearly everyone read this. I do need to give a caution, though. If you are very sensitive, this book can depress you. It certainly did me. This is not a reason to avoid it, just something to be aware of.