Title: Wide Sargasso Sea
Author: Jean Ryhs
Summary: (Taken for wikipeadia) The novel acts as a prequel to Charlotte Brontë's famous 1847 novel Jane Eyre. It is the story of the first Mrs. Rochester, Antoinette (Bertha) Mason, a white Creole heiress, from the time of her youth in the Caribbean to her unhappy marriage and relocation to England. Caught in an oppressive patriarchal society in which she belongs neither to the white Europeans nor the black Jamaicans, Rhys' novel re-imagines Brontë's devilish madwoman in the attic. As with many postcolonial works, the novel deals largely with the themes of racial inequality and the harshness of displacement and assimilation.
My Rating: 7.5/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: This book covered a new genre I never experienced much or at all before now. This story is a sad story, because the poor women is drawn to madness. As the summary says, it open's your eyes to the struggles of racial inequality this women went through and she tells it so well, it makes the reader feel some of the emotions, the main character does. One factor that classmates had with it (I read this for a women's lit class, and I'm one of the few who enjoyed it) is the language is difficult at times because there are phrases that aren't the "conventional form of English"(I use this description with hesitance, but can't figure out how to convey it) or more so what most North Americans are used to. Many classmates made that point. So for the first bit it takes a while to get used to the dialect, but I got used to it, just read it a little more slowly. What you take from the story far out ways any difficulty in reading it. Also as the story points out it is a prequel to Jane Eyre's madwomen in the attic. Although if they are actually the same person is true or not, they do have many parallels. (Although I haven't read Jane Eyre, I've watched and discussed the movie)
Would I recommend it to read: Yes, reading this book introduced me to a different genre of literature, and it has some fantastic points as well as a great story about this women's struggle and difficulties in a patriarchal society and difficulties with assimilation. I think many readers can connect to the character in some shape or form.
What to read next: Jane Eyre, other works related to post-colonial life, and maybe the Colour Purple