We’ll see if that female-presenting nipple is too much for Tumblr.
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh
When I finished the book, I immediately went in search of reviews and articles about it. Truthfully, a part of me was afraid that maybe I didn’t understand it– maybe the book was smarter than me.
A woman in her mid-twenties, nameless, decides the best way to transform herself and her life is by sleeping through it. So she finds a quack psychiatrist (just by luck) and gets prescribed pills upon pills upon pills. And then she embarks on a year-long quest to remain asleep.
First, let me tell you, the narrator’s voice is so strong, I didn’t realize she went unnamed until I read a review pointing it out. It’s not necessarily a trustworthy voice, but it is honestly confrontational, sometimes cruel, very funny, and wickedly sharp. The narrator does not spare you, when she is talking about others or herself. Sometimes, I cringed at the text, and sometimes– maybe even more upsetting– I nodded in agreement.
Also the premise! To numb yourself so sufficiently from life, that you actually spend a year asleep… Am I alone in saying how tempting that sounds? Of course, the reality of it, at least in the book, is much more visceral and savage and heartbreaking. The narrator is an enviable character in many ways – she’s rich, she’s pretty, she’s thin, etc., but never did I once wish to trade places with her. This is a book that embraces alienation and isolation, but never moralizes. It’s not a fable with a lesson learned at the end. It quite possibly is smarter than I am, but I still really enjoyed reading it. 5 stars.