In September’s Book Review, reviewer Alexis David examines Assembly by Natasha Brown, out now from Little, Brown and Company, a book called by The Guardian “a modern Mrs. Dalloway.” David writes, “Mrs. Dalloway is not uncertain in her Britishness, her feelings of belonging, whereas Brown’s narrator does not get this privilege.” Read the full review at the link below.
In Natasha Brown’s short novel, Assembly, there is a literal plot—a financially successful woman who has just found out she has cancer must go to her boyfriend’s parents’ anniversary party—and also a metaphoric plot, one that circles around issues of class, social mobility, race and uncertainty, always uncertainty. The book is told from a first person narration and is similar to Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. Assembly, like Woolf’s novel, is a book of interiority. In some ways, it seems a response to Woolf. As if Mrs. Dalloway is at the other end: she is hosting the party that the narrator will attend.