Good Morning, Midnight [Paperback] Review

Good Morning, Midnight [Paperback]It is no wonder that after the publication of this novel people assumed Jean Rhys had committed suicide. It is a dark, introverted, soul-searching novel. It's brilliance lies in the compassion with which Sasha is treated. This is a woman who is unquestionably at the end of her tether. Life occurs almost unconsciously to her. She drinks non-stop and thinks of fashion before eating. But these aren't superficial choices. They are the few soft whispers of a woman about to go over the brink. Throughout the novel you are given brief glimpses of her past as a shop assistant and the troubles in her marriage. In themselves the troubles which result from them are not ample enough to drive a normal woman to such desperation. You feel that the reason for her state of mind is more the result of a profound neglect of her individual spirit by men. She is led on to believe in a progression of being, but is abandoned to clutch at the ghosts of her old haunts in Paris. This is a sharp contrast to the ideas that we have about artistic scene of Paris in this time period. It is a more sincerely concentrated personal experience than most accounts. It is interesting to think of the end in contrast to the jubilant yeses of Molly Bloom in Ulysses. Sasha's yes is one of doom and resignation to a world that has flown past her.
Despite its depressing character, this novel is a fascinating look at a tendency to sink into a psychological state often ignored. It is also a subtle portrayal of an identity built on a knife's edge. Luckily, Ms Rhys did survive this novel (however unhappily). It is a miracle that she did considering the violent lack of self worth of Sasha; to have imagined such a person must have been terrifying indeed.

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Product Description:
Sasha Jensen has returned to Paris, the city of both her happiest moments and her most desperate. Her past lies in wait for her in cafes, bars, and dress shops, blurring all distinctions between nightmare and reality. When she is picked up by a young man, she begins to feel that she is still capable of desires and emotions. Few encounters in fiction have been so brilliantly conceived, and few have come to a more unforgettable end.

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