HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Wide Sargasso Sea: A novel (Norton Paperback…
Loading...

Wide Sargasso Sea: A novel (Norton Paperback Fiction) (original 1966; edition 2010)

by Jean Rhys

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,161148866 (3.58)550
Member:AndrewThomas
Title:Wide Sargasso Sea: A novel (Norton Paperback Fiction)
Authors:Jean Rhys
Info:W. W. Norton & Co. (2010), Edition: Re-issue, Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (1966)

Recently added bylucyknows, sarahlu82, PaulDalton, timhankey, private library, MacabreGoblin, Bici47, RVHSGriggs, TerriB, seite
Legacy LibrariesGraham Greene
  1. 241
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (aces)
  2. 61
    The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination by Sandra M. Gilbert (Imprinted)
  3. 20
    March by Geraldine Brooks (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Classic stories (Little Women/Jane Eyre) re-imagined through the experiences of characters who are important to the plot while being almost entirely unseen.
  4. 10
    After Mrs Rochester by Polly Teale (srdr)
    srdr: This brilliant drama illuminates the themes that run through Jean Rhys's life, Wide Sargasso Sea, and Jane Eyre.
  5. 21
    Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica by Zora Neale Hurston (cammykitty)
  6. 00
    Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Cecilturtle)
    Cecilturtle: colonialisme
  7. 00
    Near to the Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector (Petroglyph)
    Petroglyph: Even though Near to the wild heart was written some twenty years prior to Wide Sargasso Sea, these two share numerous features: the interior monologue, the lyricism, the heroine mostly living inside her skull, the central character who doesn’t see a way out of their mental frustrations with life. Lispector kicked all that up a few notches, but to me these two belong close together on my mental shelves.… (more)
  8. 01
    Blessed Is the Fruit: A Novel by Robert Antoni (IsolaBlue)
  9. 01
    Bug-Jargal by Victor Hugo (Medicinos)
    Medicinos: Bug-Jargal décrit une société antillaise basée sur l'exploitation des esclaves qui éclate lorsque ces derniers se rebellent. La prisonnière des Sargasses décrit une société analogue après la rébellion.
  10. 02
    Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry (GlebtheDancer)
    GlebtheDancer: Dark, foreboding, claustrophobic feel. Self-destruction of central character. Similar prose styles.
  11. 03
    Signed, Mata Hari: A Novel by Yannick Murphy (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Lush depiction of tropics with natives playing important roles, women "bought" and tragic endings
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 550 mentions

English (142)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (147)
Showing 1-5 of 142 (next | show all)
Jean Rhys was a bit of a character and this novel, set in the Caribbean she grew up in, features a misunderstood woman who falls victim to both her Creole upbringing and the man she marries.

The basic premise is that this is a prequel to Jane Eyre but written 120 years after it. It’s not essential to have read Eyre before you tackle Sargasso, but it will make a lot more sense if you do, particularly part 3. In fact, it was one of the rare moments in my life where I was actually glad I’d read Jane Eyre. The others were when I realised I didn’t still have it left to read.

Anyway, this is a tragedy from start to finish and Rhys does an excellent job of creating an aura of gloom, despondency and creeping madness right from the start. There’s virtually no joy in it, and you get this sense that whatever positives there may be in the lives of the characters, it’s only a matter of time before everything caves in.

Antoinette, for that is the name of the future Mrs Rochester, has a sad childhood with a mother who is not quite there in more ways than one. As a Creole, she doesn’t fit in any category and this sense of isolation plagues her right through the novel, even when Mr Rochester finally arrives and, suddenly, we find her married.

The marriage is obviously one of societal (read, financial) convenience and what little passion there is between them soon evaporates leaving behind a thin crust of bitterness and mistrust. This is the main theme of part 2.

Part 3 sees us in England and, having shown us the world according to both Mr and Mrs Rochester, we now find ourselves seeing things from the point of view of Grace Poole, Rochester’s housekeeper, who is tasked with caring for the mad woman now confined in Thornfield House, Rochester’s residence in the UK.

I enjoyed this principally because the development of novel-writing in between Eyre and Sargasso meant that the character of Antoinette was much more fleshed out than I found any character to be in the original. For me, this has rescued Eyre for me and means that, if ever I read it again, I will do so with more insight than previously. This is a good thing, I think. ( )
  arukiyomi | Jul 25, 2015 |
I found this far more interesting than Jane Eyre. ( )
  Smigs | Jul 23, 2015 |
humid, close ( )
  annadanz | Jul 5, 2015 |
Prequel to Jane Eyre. This is the story of how the mad woman came to be in Mr. Rochester's house. An easy read and a good story. ( )
  LJF | Mar 22, 2015 |
I read Jane Eyre recently, so really wanted to read this (it is _so obviously_ the other side of the coin that needs telling). So half of me loved it - it is the other half of the story, it is the sympathetic tale of the bad guy, it is exotic and lyrical. But half of me didn't like it - it is shreds and glimpses, things happening off stage, finding out later about things that happened that were important. Never a strong conclusion, just a nebulous cloud of hints and experiences. ( )
  atreic | Feb 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 142 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jean Rhysprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ashworth, AndreaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dorsman-Vos, W.A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyndham, FrancisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did.
Quotations
'If you are buried under a flamboyant tree,' I said, 'your soul is lifted up when it flowers. Everyone wants that.'
The saints we hear about were all very beautiful and wealthy. All were loved by rich and handsome young men.
Reality might disconcert her, bewilder her, hurt her, but it would not be reality. It would be only a mistake, a misfortune, a wrong path taken, her fixed ideas would never change.
'So between you I often wonder who I am and where is my country and where do I belong and why was I ever born at all.'
'You can pretend for a long time, but one day it all falls away and you are alone.'
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393308804, Paperback)

In 1966 Jean Rhys reemerged after a long silence with a novel called Wide Sargasso Sea. Rhys had enjoyed minor literary success in the 1920s and '30s with a series of evocative novels featuring women protagonists adrift in Europe, verging on poverty, hoping to be saved by men. By the '40s, however, her work was out of fashion, too sad for a world at war. And Rhys herself was often too sad for the world--she was suicidal, alcoholic, troubled by a vast loneliness. She was also a great writer, despite her powerful self-destructive impulses.

Wide Sargasso Sea is the story of Antoinette Cosway, a Creole heiress who grew up in the West Indies on a decaying plantation. When she comes of age she is married off to an Englishman, and he takes her away from the only place she has known--a house with a garden where "the paths were overgrown and a smell of dead flowers mixed with the fresh living smell. Underneath the tree ferns, tall as forest tree ferns, the light was green. Orchids flourished out of reach or for some reason not to be touched."

The novel is Rhys's answer to Jane Eyre. Charlotte Brontë's book had long haunted her, mostly for the story it did not tell--that of the madwoman in the attic, Rochester's terrible secret. Antoinette is Rhys's imagining of that locked-up woman, who in the end burns up the house and herself. Wide Sargasso Sea follows her voyage into the dark, both from her point of view and Rochester's. It is a voyage charged with soul-destroying lust. "I watched her die many times," observes the new husband. "In my way, not in hers. In sunlight, in shadow, by moonlight, by candlelight. In the long afternoons when the house was empty."

Rhys struggled over the book, enduring rejections and revisions, wrestling to bring this ruined woman out of the ashes. The slim volume was finally published when she was 70 years old. The critical adulation that followed, she said, "has come too late." Jean Rhys died a few years later, but with Wide Sargasso Sea she left behind a great legacy, a work of strange, scary loveliness. There has not been a book like it before or since. Believe me, I've been searching. --Emily White

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:45 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
28 avail.
137 wanted
1 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.58)
0.5 5
1 35
1.5 7
2 115
2.5 46
3 291
3.5 109
4 430
4.5 53
5 207

W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

» Publisher information page

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141182857, 0241951550

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 99,131,803 books! | Top bar: Always visible