Today, it’s a review of a book I have been meaning to read for *ages* – Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation.
I think with everything going on in the world and in lockdown, I’ve been up and down with my reading and I’ve found myself turning to books I haven’t read before but books I’ve always wanted to read and this is one of them. So, before we go any further, what’s it about exactly? Here’s the synopsis:
It’s the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong?
Our narrator has many of the advantages of life: Young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate, she lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like everything else, by her inheritance. But there is a vacuum at the heart of things, and it isn’t just the loss of her parents in college, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her alleged best friend.
This is a book I’ve wanted to read for ages but somehow missed it! I thought I’d read some books I have wanted to read for a long time during this period (I’m still early days into A Little Life!) and I ordered a copy of My Year of Rest and Relaxation and I can’t believe I didn’t read this sooner! At first, my first thought was how short it is! I thought, for some reason, this book was really, really, really long but it’s short, sweet and sharp.
I read this in about three days straight because I just couldn’t put it down. There’s not much plot but that’s why I love it so much, I think. It’s bleak, dark, sharp and the pace is just brilliant, too. She’s such a brilliant writer – I think I’ve found a new favourite writer after reading this! Reading this book felt like drinking a sharp glass of gin, a splash of cold water in the face – in the best way possible.
I loved reading this book – it felt like a real ‘reading experience’ and I don’t think it’s like anything I’ve read before. There is humour, high emotion and it’s a book that made me think about it when reading it but more importantly, after reading it. The last page and the last line made me hold my breath – even though I had a feeling that was what was leading to but it didn’t ruin it for me.
Overall, I’m so happy that I finally read this book! Through this, I’ve found a new favourite author and I’m currently reading and loving her previous novel, Eileen. If you’re looking for a short, sharp read, this one is for you. It also took me out of a reading slump and I think that’s a great thing for a book to do for you. I can’t wait to read more from her in the future.
Have you read My Year of Rest & Relaxation? What did you think? Are you reading anything in lockdown you’ve been meaning to for ages? Let me know in the comments!