As you heard in my last review (of sorts), I loved Jane Eyre. It has gone straight into my list of favourite books of all time (you can see the others in my widget on the sidebar).
So, as you can imagine with my new found love of Jane Eyre and all the great things I had heard about Wide Sargasso Sea, I was very much looking forward to reading it.
Initially, I thought that it was going to be fabulous. The writing is amazing (I can't deny it and I don't want to) and the story seemed liked it was going to be equally as good. But as much as I could see the potential and admire the writing, I just didn't enjoy it.
Here are my biggest complaints: it was too slow. I felt like I had to push my way through the writing to get to the story (hope that makes sense) and when I got to the story nothing interesting was happening.
There was no resolution to any parts of the story. A friend of mine who read it at the same time as me thought that this could perhaps be explained by the fact that Rhys was making a comment on how everything is resolved so neatly in Jane Eyre and she is probably right. Having said that, I am just someone that needs answers at the end of a story.
There were too many endnotes. You know the notes that you have to flick to the back of the book to read? So annoying. I don't want to flip backwards and forwards every few pages for explanations about what I am reading. It ruins the flow mo-jo.
It was interesting reading about the colonial history of the West Indies as it is referred to, but not interesting enough make up for the slow moving story.
I very much understand and identify with Rhys's fascination with 'the woman in the attic' in Jane Eyre'. I admit myself to not being at all satisfied with Rochester's explanation of the situation and I never felt quite like I had closure on that issue in Jane Eyre.
Having said that, Wade Sargasso Sea didn't help me in any way to resolve me feelings towards the first Mrs Rochester's situation. I know Rhys didn't necessarily write it to provide me with closure, but it would have been nice.
I know that is all negative so I am sorry for adding to the negative energy out there in the world, but it had to be said.
Do you think I am crazy and that this is actually a fabulous book? I think perhaps most people feel like that.