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Book Review: Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys

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Blurb:

Sasha Jensen has returned to Paris, the city of both her happiest moments and her most desperate. Her past lies in wait for her in cafes, bars, and dress shops, blurring all distinctions between nightmare and reality. When she is picked up 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.

Rating: 3 stars

My Review:

Good Morning, Midnight is a crossover book which uses the techniques of narrative storytelling to fictionalize a memoir. Such is the talent of Jean Rhys who spins a book so impeccable in its writing that as a reader, it’s difficult to tell the difference between fiction and reality.

This book is like a swan song that shows us what her life was like. An almost incurable addiction to alcohol and attention from members of the opposite sex, our protagonist Sasha could never let go of her fallacies despite being self-aware in a heightened manner. She is seen stumbling through life trying to create memories that will make life worthwhile. She is ageing, poor and without a source of income. She, almost painstakingly gets into an impulsive wedlock which offers her no stability rather more of penury and the loss of a child.

Rhys has a knack of nailing the female desires and consciousness albeit in a non-feminist manner. Her protagonist is helpless and sad and mostly, chosen to be so. It is undoubtedly well-written but didn’t strike a chord with me after a point in time. I don’t mind a story of depression but if the character just wants to sink into abysmal depths of the society then I have a problem.

The book closes with Sasha and the next important character, the gigolo engaging in intense sexual activity. It is detailed and for the first time through the book, makes you feel the pain that Sasha is going through and culminates in an unclear conclusion.

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