2017 · February · Reviews

Book Review: “Wide Sargasso Sea”, by Jean Rhys

Published in 2000 by Penguin | Originally published in 1966 | Three feathers

Summary from Goodreads:

Inspired by Charlotte Bronte’s ‘Jane Eyre’, WIDE SARGASSO SEA is set in 1830’s Jamaica. Born into an oppressive, colonialist society, white Creole heiress Antoinette Cosway meets a young Englishman who is drawn to her innocent beauty and sensuality.After their marriage, however, disturbing rumours begin to circulate which poison her husband against her. Caught between his demands and her own precarious sense of belonging, Antoinette is inexorably driven towards madness. This classic study of betrayal is Jean Rhys’ brief, beautiful masterpiece.


This was the second time I read this book, and the funny story is that I originally read it before I read Jane Eyre. So I read this a few years ago, then I read Jane Eyre for class recently, and now I reread this for class too. It’s one of those books that aren’t bad, but they aren’t that good either. This felt a bit like fan fiction to me, mostly because it’s supposed to be a response to Jane Eyre but I don’t feel like it ties into it that well. For example, the timeline doesn’t really work. This is set far too late for it to work with Jane Eyre.

However, I do think that it was interesting to see a suggestion of what Antoinette’s life might have been like before she married Rochester and came to England. So I guess that’s what I liked the most about this, but overall, it was just okay.


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