My goodness. I haven't read such heart-breakingly beautiful, resonant prose since The Bell Jar. In a lot of ways, I feel as if Cunningham wrote this book especially for me. He writes of so many of the little things I feel or observe. In describing Clarissa's awe at the world, he distills my own:
It is that which I feel mornings when the sun is shining and the air fresh. When I look out over the balcony to see the budding trees, the tender blades of grass, the world of possibilities. When worries of war, famine, intolerance seem to drop away. It is that which I feel when I realize anew what Clarissa herself concludes:
I can identify with all three of Cunningham's heroines: I identify with them because of their depression; I identify with Virginia and Laura because of their feelings of being suffocated by the ordinary; I identify with Virginia because of her desparation to create something that not only matters, but lives up to personal expectations; I identify with Clarissa because of her optimism which manages to linger despite th regret and self-doubt.
I truly feel as though this book were written if not about me, certainly for me.