Wide Sargasso Sea

Wide Sargasso Sea


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393352566
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 01/25/2016
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 27,281
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Jean Rhys (1890–1979) is the author of Good Morning,
Midnight; Voyage in the Dark; After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie;
Quartet; and The Collected Short Stories.

Table of Contents

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Wide Sargasso Sea 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
mthelibrarian on LibraryThing 22 days ago
The change in narrators between sections is confusing, but Part 3 made me think I should go back to the beginning and start it again. I may do so in the future, but not right now.
Scriberpunk on LibraryThing 30 days ago
Wide Sargasso Sea is Jean Rhys¿ `prequel¿ to Charlotte Bronte¿s Jane Eyre. In Jane Eyre Mr Rochester has returned home from Jamaica with a mad wife in tow and locked her up in the attic. In Wide Sargasso Sea Jean Rhys imagines how he helped drive her mad whilst they lived in the Caribbean. I never realised that Creole originally meant people born and raised in one place/country/continent but with ancestry in another. I thought it was a cooking style. That¿s a joke. Sort of. Antoinette, the first Mrs. Rochester, is Creole in that she is white, of English heritage, but born and raised in the Caribbean. The book is about her feeling of not belonging and her confused sense of identity, a point driven home by Rhys calling her by a number of different names during the story. Antoinette, Annette, Marionette; her husband even calls her Bertha, which is a touch jarring and unexplained though it turns out that this is a next story plot device in it's Mrs Rochester¿s name in Jane Eyre. Mr Rochester on the other hand is never actually named in the book, even though he shares narrating duties with Antoinette. There¿s quite a lot of this juxtaposition of opposites going on. The title is meant to demonstrate the gap between the old world and the new and show how distant Rochester and Antoinette become. Very deep.It¿s good. And it¿s short. But I may never forgive it because it has now got me reading Jane Eyre.
songfish on LibraryThing 30 days ago
Felt like an exercise rather than a novel. Much to analyse, but not much to enjoy.
janiereader on LibraryThing 30 days ago
Though this book was originally written in 1966 I had never heard of it. Being a lover of Bronte's Jane Eyre I was told by a collegue to give it a try. I was excited at the prospect of reading it, and thought what a good premise it was. The mad woman in the attic! How did she get there? What was her story? Why was her whole existence such a secret to the reader?Well, I was disappointed. The whole book has a dreamy almost drug liked atmosphere to it. Even though I read the whole book I felt like I missed something. Had the pages stuck together? Had I missed a chapter or two? I was really not much closer to understanding the whole situation. It did bring up a few good points, and explained the historical aspects of the time but I was not pleased. Though it had great reviews and is still being republished today I feel like it was too esoteric to be of any use. Lovers of the Brontes are much better served by reading Romancing Miss Bronte by Juliet Gael.
nycbookgirl on LibraryThing 30 days ago
I had no idea that this novel had anything to do with Jane Eyre. **If you've never read Jane Eyre and are planning to, you might want to stop reading here. **I happened to see it the other day at the library and picked it up. So here we go.Wide Sargasso Sea imagines the background of "Bertha" the first wife of Rochester from Jane Eyre. It's supposed to clear up the mystery of why she ending up being the crazy lady in the attic.And I say "supposed" because it didn't really clear up anything to me. At the end of the book, I still feel that "Bertha" a.k.a. Antoinette Cosway, the wealthy Creole girl from the Caribbean, is still such a mystery.Let's be honest. I didn't really like this book. Classic literature it may be but here's why I had problems with it.1) Rochester doesn't really seem like the Rochester from Jane Eyre. That said, if he's supposed to come off as an evil man who enslaves her in his attic....it kind of failed. You could see where he seemed just as stuck in having to marry her as she was to him. And there was no logical reason for him to start calling her "Bertha", it was out of character, and it just bugged me. (A large portion in the middle of the book is written from Rochester's perspective. I DID like that.)2) The book jacket made it seem as if she had no choice in marrying him. As if against her will she was forced. But I didn't really see that in the book either. I couldn't really see WHY she had to marry him or why she did.3) She remains a complete mystery. If she's supposed to be strong-willed, I don't see it. If she was supposed to be an innocent who was manipulated, I don't see it. I'm just not sure where the author was wanting to take this character.4) The characters were confusing, the writing was confusing...I'll just leave it at that.What I did like about this book:1) The very beginning is very vivid. It's the part where Antoinette is a child, growing up as a Creole without a father, and the social changes that happen on the island where she lives. I'd tag this as "classic" just from that small section. Then the book just goes down-hill from there.2) In a weird way, I could never get a picture of what Antoinette looked like. Maybe it was purposeful since Antoinette was caught between worlds, not fitting into either one. I thought that was a really powerful writing tool she used.3) I did like the parallel between Jane's upbringing and Antoinette's. Lots of similarities.4) Jean Rhys. I am kind of fascinated about the author herself. I'd love to read a book just on her.
kazzablanca on LibraryThing 30 days ago
I was intrigued to read this book, as the supposed prequel to one of my all-time favourite novels, but I was a bit disappointed.Whilst the prose was evocative and described the setting beautifully, the characters seemed hollow.I was most disappointed with Rochester's behavious toward his wife once he realised that he couldn't love her anymore. To have literally imprisoned her in marriage for that reason is a terrible injustice and this perspective seems to taint the character that we had learned to love in Jane Eyre.
tonidew on LibraryThing 30 days ago
As good a prequel as you'll find. Richly written, sometimes in streams of consciousness. Rhys swaps voices without offering clues, leaving us sometimes bewildered and always blundering towards the inexorable, horrible denouement.
Cecilturtle on LibraryThing 30 days ago
I absolutely loved this book with its secrets, wild nature and romantic tensions. Rhys does a wonderful job of conveying the ambiguity of the colonists: people who belonged neither to the country into which they were born and raised nor to the homeland which they often never even visited. Antoinette's family is neither white nor black, has lost all status and wealth and with it its identity. Madness is the only possible outcome since they cannot hope to rebuilt in a hostile world that has changed and left them behind. The people whom Antoinette loves the most are all black: Christophine, Sandi and Tia; yet, she can never have a relationship of equals. She must marry a white man who will forever hate and resent her because she is so different. The use of nature is beautiful both visually and symbolically: a lush, welcoming, fertile land that can become crushing, overwhelming and suffocating. There are passages that could have been developed: time passes in bumps and it's sometimes difficult to understand the sudden change in Antoinette's marriage, from cordial and hopeful to hating and distrustful. The alternating voices can also be challenging to manage, breaking the rhythm of the story. The reader understands the reasons, but the transitions are abrupt. Rhys does a wonderful job of skirting around and blending emotions, but sometimes too much so. The ending is absolutely incredible: it beautifully recaptures the entire novel in one blinding event. Ultimately this novel does what it set out to do: avenge the first Mrs Rochester.
1morechapter on LibraryThing 5 months ago
The Wide Sargasso Sea is listed in the top 100 novels by the Modern Library. I wouldn't go that far, but I did enjoy it. A warning though--some fans of Jane Eyre may hate it. Most members of my face to face book group felt like it ruined their idea of Mr. Rochester's character. I felt the same way when I read March by Geraldine Brooks earlier this year. Little Women is a favorite book of mine, and I didn't like how Mr. and Mrs. March were portrayed in Brooks' story at all.However, in this book, we learn how Mr. Rochester became the dark, brooding figure in Jane Eyre. We not only feel sorry for him, though, we also feel sorry for Bertha as well. At least I did. We learn how and why she had a mental breakdown. We learn that both she and Mr. Rochester are victims. While I won't go so far as to integrate this story into my feelings about and fondness for Jane Eyre, I am able to take this as a separate story altogether and appreciate it.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Perhaps the idea was to allow the reader to experience decent into madness through a story that is incomprehensible, with no real plot line. This is just an experience in disjointed ramblings. I can only attribute the glowing reviews it received to folks having been paid to write positive reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For those who live in a wonderful society full of logical and sane pursuits, how can you possibly understand the steps to the darkness and the madness one can be slowly drowning in? Those who have felt the other side of life, the echos inside themselves , will knowingly nod at Antoinette's tragedy and Rochester's skeletons in the closet. Rhys does not pollute Rochester but clarify his character as a man , and in Jane Eyre, a man who has tried to murder that side of him , that monster, for her sake.Fascinatng for those who understand madness, I'm sure those who have at times felt themselves suffocating by aura shrouding themselves will understand this beautiful book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is excellent if you sit down and pick every detail apart. One must have a firm grasp on Jane Eyre before reading this novel. If you know every aspect of Jane Eyre you'll throughly enjoy the maddness that is weaved throught this novel. Remember to concentrate on the roles of the great houses and link them to the roles of women in society of that time period. Good Luck!