Funny enough, I could not find the cover of my edition online! So here is a crappy photo of it. All the other covers I see do not have illustrations at all really– more just designs. I feel lucky to have this one, since the cover sums up the story– the title, Between the Acts, just gives the whole thing away.
It is a summer’s day, and there will be a pageant. A local affair, nothing fancy– but a social event based in England. This is VW’s last novel– there is a note from her husband explaining how he had done his best, but that he was sure she would have made more corrections.
The first topic of discussion regarding the play is whether the weather will be fine or wet. Last year it was wet, so essentially there are a number of concerns and preparations voiced in the beautiful irony that VW mastered. It turns out being fine– lovely!
Truly, the book is about the conversations and concerns of the play attendees, and the actors, and the writer of the play, between the acts. The play itself certainly is integral to the story– the last act is called ‘Ourselves’ and the actors hold mirrors up to reflect to audience back at themselves! Really good stuff.
If you like VW, and have not read this, go ahead and pick it up. I found myself laughing out loud at points. Towards the end, after the play, everyone is so confused by the ‘Ourselves’ act that everyone in the town is talking about it– what did it mean? Why did they do that? Was it cruel? It’s really just quite fun to read and think about.
I do not want to spoil the details, but suffice to say this is a great piece of literature — if you have never read VW, this might be a good place to start because it is very easy to read. And it is very conversational.
A side of update-
That brings me up to 1,396 which is nearly 70%. So, not too bad but I need to start moving. I have to admit, I have been pretty sluggish these days with my reading. I always experience this during our sessions– the midway slump. VW helped. I am going to tap into another book of hers which is short stories, and I am working through Glass Universe that Teri gave me– though I have to admit she made me gun shy! I really am enjoying it, as a lady scientist, but it is dense and there is a considerable amount of text to work through.
How are y’all doing out there?