Who wrote this book and when?
Jean Rhys in 1966.

Has there been a film version?
Two film versions. One in 1993, and one this year, 2006.

Who are the important characters?
Antoinette “Bertha” Mason – a Jamaican mulatto girl whose mother was taken from her at an early age and was raised by her stepfather, her family’s health history is questionable
Edward Rochester – Antoinette’s husband by arranged marriage, an Englishman
Christophine – Antoinette’s nurse as a child and her friend later, a witch doctor from Martinique
Richard Mason – Antoinette’s half brother

What’s it about?
This is a supposed prequel to Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre.” It tells the story of Bertha, whose real name in this story is Antoinette, as she is orphaned by her mother and driven to insanity by her brother’s apathy, her husband’s lack of love towards her, and her former nurse’s voodoo practices.

Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
Mostly because it is supposed to be a good example of a postcolonial/postmodern book. *shrug* I don’t really know.

Do you recommend I read this book?
Not really. It isn’t very good.

Why did this book make your list?
It is rated as one of the 100 Best English language novels since 1923.

Has it won any awards?
The WH Smith Literary Award in 1967.

Favorite quotes:
“I prayed, but the words fell to the ground meaning nothing.” – p 61

Anything else?
Nope.

Personal thoughts:
This book wasn’t interesting at all except in it’s fantastic method of completely stripping Antoinette of every aspect of her identity piece by piece. The one thing I distinctly hated was the random changes in narrator. Even from paragraph to paragraph, sometimes Rhys would switch characters with no indication of why or that she was doing it. None of the characters were very memorable and the plot (even though it was understood from the beginning what it would include) seemed contrived and random. No sir, I didn’t like it.

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