ContemporaryMy Year Of Rest And Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

My Year Of Rest And Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

FRIDAY FAVE – HYPE EDITION

Full Disclosure: This is more a favourite of the world (it seems) than one of mine. I bought this book having seen its distinctive cover all over social media. Published in 2018 from @thebookerprizes shortlisted author Moshfegh, it is still selling in huge amounts. Think a millennial, darker Sex & The City but Carrie is morose, depressed and hermetic, addicted to all manner of prescription psychopharmaceuticals.

This book shouldn’t have transfixed me like it did. It truly doesn’t make sense. None of the characters are likeable – clearly the intention, none more so than the unnamed, entitled, utterly despondent main character living in New York. This isn’t a plot heavy story, addicted to an ever growing concoction of medication she decides to hide away from her life by sleeping for a year, hoping to wake up with a sense of purpose and identity.

From about thirty pages in, I was hooked, I couldn’t tear myself away from the pages.There is satire, some razor sharp observations and I was invested, wanting to see what would happen. Told in the first person, the prose changes from shorter paragraphs to long streams of consciousness interchangeably which keeps a sense of pace and realism.

Reading this book is an experience, a savage commentary on the art world, wider society, privilege, familial dysfunction, mental health and its medical treatment and trauma. Momentum does gather towards the end but what I think keeps on capturing readers attention is that innate desire to break away from the chaos and tumult of the world. Particularly during and after a global pandemic, our protagonist’s desire and plan doesn’t seem so far fetched.

There will be those that don’t get the hype, that despise the people and story portrayed. I think the author thrives from that, she is not here to make anyone like her story. Truly bold. If you have read this did you get the hype? ~ C

Order your copy here.

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