Why this book?
Bertha, the murderous maniac in the attic, scared me out of my skin the first time I read Jane Eyre. Not the most promising subject for a sympathetic imaginary biography, you might think; but Jean Rhys draws on her own Creole youth to create a past for the madwoman, the charming but doomed child Antoinette, who grows into a beautiful young bride. Her exotic and magical island setting glows with lush abundance, but from the first there is a sense of foreboding. Her marriage fails, and the innocent, touching young woman is torn from her adored island, losing her love, her sanity, and even her real name. An extraordinary, perverse, and brilliantly original reinvention.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
Wide Sargasso Sea, a masterpiece of modern fiction, was Jean Rhys's return to the literary center stage. She had a startling early career and was known for her extraordinary prose and haunting women characters. With Wide Sargasso Sea, her last and best-selling novel, she ingeniously brings into light one of fiction's most fascinating characters: the madwoman in the attic from Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. This mesmerizing work introduces us to Antoinette Cosway, a sensual and protected young woman who is sold into marriage to the prideful Mr. Rochester. Rhys portrays Cosway amidst a society so driven by hatred, so skewed…