Century of Books

My project to read the top 100 English-language books of the twentieth century.

Location: San Francisco, United States

I am an Australian writer and blogger living in San Francisco. Visit my professional site at caitlinfitzsimmons.com, or my travel and food blog at Roaming Tales or my personal blog at The Niltiac Files. I am also on Twitter as @niltiac. See the full list of books or visit me on BookCrossing.

01 May 2007

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Wide Sargasso Sea is set mostly in the West Indies and the writing feels as lush and vivid as its setting. A young girl marries a man she barely knows. He is attentive at first but then gossip poisons his mind against her, with devastating results.

The time is the mid-nineteenth century and it was extremely interesting reading about the post-slavery society and the relationship between black and white people. Many of the white people have fallen on very hard times so their lives are not always as different as one might imagine.

Particularly interesting for literature fans is the fact that the novel was inspired by Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. Although it never says so explicitly, Antoinette's husband is Rochester and this is the story of her unfolding madness.

I haven't read Jane Eyre in years but it's tempting to do so as I think Wide Sargasso Sea would be worth re-reading with the Bronte novel fresh in my mind.

38 down, 62 to go.