Sasha Jensen has returned to Paris, the city of both her happiest moments and her most desperate. A friend has rescued her from the room in London where she had been trying to drink herself to death. Now her past lies in wait for her in cafes, bars, and dress shops coming to life again as vividly for the reader as it does for her, blurring all distinctions between nightmare and reality.
The past is no all that looms threateningly on Sasha’s horizon. She does not trust the future, even as she knows she must move into it. Whens she is picked by a young man, she begins to feel that she is still capable of desires and emotions. Few encounters in fiction have been so brilliantly conceived, and few have come to a more unforgettable end. –Goodreads synopsis
Published: 1986 by Shoreline Books (originally published in 1937)
Length: 190 pages
Source: my bookcase
I read this book as a part of two reading challenges #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks and the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2016. It’s a book I’ve had hanging around my bookshelves since grad school. Jean Rhys is one of those underrated female authors and her books are almost unknown except for one: Wide Sargasso Sea. Wide Sargasso Sea is Rhys’ response to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. And it changed the way many readers understand Bronte’s classic novel.
Rhys is a modernist writer and she tends to write in the stream of consciousness style so it can be a bit difficult to read. So it took a bit for me to get into the book, plus it’s about a woman who is spiraling into madness. And I think I’m overly emphatic because the book just added to my own depression. And spoiler! the book doesn’t have a happy ending. I know that I’m not painting a positive review of the book, but I liked it. I would just say if you are someone who is an empathetic reader, you may want to read this in the summer when the sun is shinning, and it’s maybe easier to find a happy place while reading it.
What do you think? Would you enjoy this book? Have you read it? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments below.