As you know, Carla and Beca and I have started a little book club and we are so excited that so many people are joining us to read the first book, Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. This post is meant as a place to get discussion about Part I of the book going. If you want to use twitter or your own blog to discuss, please do. Send me a link to your post and I'll add it to this post so people can see what others are writing about.
"There is always the other side."
Having recently read Jane Eyre, I'm already enjoying the idea that the shapeless, shunned woman in the attic from that book has been given a mother and a childhood in this book. I appreciate the glimpse into the conditions that shaped her life, terrifying though they were. I definitely feel that there were moments of total horror in the first part of this book and that it wasn't until the protagonist's dress was stolen that I started to get into the story and understand what was happening to this family. I have to say though that the language doesn't particularly move me. I didn't do a lot of recording of memorable quotes, because nothing really stood out to me.
There is one exception, which is when the protagonist makes friends with the girl (Tia) who has been taunting her and she writes, "Soon Tia was my friend and I met her nearly every morning at the turn of the road to the river. Sometimes we left the bathing pool at midday, sometimes we stayed till late afternoon. Then Tia would light a fire (fires always lit for her, sharp stones did not hurt her bare feet, I never saw her cry)..." I can't help but wonder about the line "fires always lit for her" given the trajectory of this part of the book. And I'm also moved by how terrible it is that she is forced to befriend her tormentor because it seems she has no other choice for companionship.
I'm not really a book review writer, and cobbling this post together has been really tough, so I'll let you take it from here. Thoughts? Favourite quotes? Interest in Jean Rhys herself? Jane Eyre vs. Wide Sargasso Sea: has this book changed the way you feel about Jane Eyre? Enjoying this book?
I'll do another post on the book next weekend (probably getting us about two thirds of the way through the book). Happy reading!