Friday, January 3, 2020

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

My Year of Rest and Relaxation

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reading this book about a privileged, beautiful young woman made me feel I was in a bit of daze myself, but without the gargantuan amounts of drugs the main character takes to keep herself in a similar state. She was trying to sleep for a year, but even when she was awake she wasn't truly conscious.

The unnamed narrator just wants a reboot, and for her that means a year of sleep. "Life was fragile and fleeting and one had to be cautious, sure, but I would risk death if it meant I could sleep all day and become a whole new person," she tells us.

This is a hard book to explain, and one could easily come away hating the narrator for squandering her many gifts. But somehow, I didn't. I'm not really sure what I felt, other than I never lost interest in or patience with this troubled young woman. At times I even felt she might have a good idea there, constant sleep. But no, that's foolishness, especially the way she went about it. But it somehow seemed necessary for her, as a way to find a continued path to existing, to coping.

I couldn't even say who this book is for. I think you just have to read it, and it either rings a bell for you or it doesn't. Which is true of all books, really. Why not grab your library card and give it a go?

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