From Shelf Awareness:
Saturday by Ian McEwan takes place in London on February 15, 2003–a post 9/11 day whose ordinariness has been forever shifted by global terror. A middle-aged neurosurgeon named Henry Perowne is woken before dawn by the sight of a fiery plane heading towards Heathrow Airport. While Henry’s thoughts turn to terrorism, the events of his day show that the unease affecting First World countries can be more damaging in some ways than death and destruction.
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf is a dreamy novel about the morning-to-evening 1920s London peregrinations of an upperclass chatelaine preparing for a dinner party. Clarissa Dalloway begins the day gazing at a skywriting plane–a scene that McEwan paid homage to in the aforementioned Saturday. If that novel primarily deals with world events through the lens of one man’s actions, Woolf’s deals with gender roles and the post-World War I Western world’s new landscape.