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Wide Sargasso Sea

Rhys, Jean

(Paperback - 1998)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Wide Sargasso Sea
Print
WW Norton
Textual notes illuminate the novel’s historical background, regional references, and the non-translated Creole and French phrases necessary to fully understand this powerful story. Backgrounds includes a wealth of material on the novel’s long evolution, it connections to Jane Eyre, and Rhys’s biographical impressions of growing up in Dominica. Criticism introduces readers to the critical debates inspired by the novel with a Derek Walcott poem and eleven essays.
Written over the course of twenty-one years and published in 1966, Wide Sargasso Sea, based on Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, takes place in Jamaica and Dominica in 1839–45.

Baker & Taylor
Beautiful and wealthy Antoinette Cosway's passionate love for an English aristocrat threatens to destroy her idyllic West Indian island existence and her very life; accompanied by notes and criticism

Norton Pub
Textual notes illuminate the novel’s historical background, regional references, and the non-translated Creole and French phrases necessary to fully understand this powerful story. Backgrounds includes a wealth of material on the novel’s long evolution, it connections to Jane Eyre, and Rhys’s biographical impressions of growing up in Dominica. Criticism introduces readers to the critical debates inspired by the novel with a Derek Walcott poem and eleven essays.
Written over the course of twenty-one years and published in 1966, Wide Sargasso Sea, based on Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, takes place in Jamaica and Dominica in 1839–45.

Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, 1998, c1999
ISBN: 0393960129
9780393960129
Branch Call Number: FIC R
Characteristics: xiii, 270 p. : ill., map ; 21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Brontë, Charlotte 1816-1855
Raiskin, Judith L.

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A patron review from the Adult Summer Reading Game: "Based on the classic 'Jane Eyre', it tells the story of Antoinette, who marries Mr. Rochester. Spanning across the Caribbean to England, it is a vibrant, sensual novel about how people can be turned against each other."

Jul 07, 2013
  • gvlee rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

Rambling and incoherent. Both Bertha (strangely called Antoinette in this book) and Mr. Rochester narrate in a very similar style, which I think is a reflection of the author, rather than of the 2 characters. Much of the writing is done in the voice of the Jamaican servants' patois, which I found really irritating. There isn't really a plot. This is almost like a dream the author had about Bertha Mason. I do not recommend this book at all.

Jul 16, 2012
  • jdaigle3 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I found this through a post on a blog about prequels and sequels to classics. It answered a lot of the questions I had after reading Jane Eyre and filled in a lot of blanks I hadn't even known existed!
All this and I haven't even said how well written it was and how thought provoking it was. A great read I'd recommend to anyone who likes Charlotte Bronte or Jane Austen type novels.

Mar 10, 2012
  • Cecilturtle rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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.

Feb 04, 2012
  • BugLady1 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I disagree with Pepino. This book is amazing! The author has taken a character from Jane Eyre that we knew little about and established who she was and why she was that character. I admit, I was a little lost in the beginning, but as i read, this book grew on me more and more and intrigued me. I had not read Jane Eyre prior to reading Wide Sargasso Sea, but felt this book stood its own and made me yearn to discover more about its characters. Read this one with a friend and have a great discussion afterwards!

Jun 09, 2011
  • ser_library rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

wonderful sensory descriptions of Jamaica and other WI islands

do not need to know Jane Eyre before reading this

Jul 03, 2010
  • Pepino rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I read this book during university and my mother read it as well. We both agree, this book is awful! Based on the classic Jane Eyre, I am still always surprised when I hear that someone loves this book. The way it jumps around from different perspectives makes it hard to follow and the depressing storyline didn't really have its intended affect due to the fact that I found in impossible to get attached to the characters. The ending leaves much to be desired and if you haven't read Jane Eyre than you wouldn't understand it all. Simply an awful book that will leave you shaking your head as to why its considered a classic.

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