Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wide Sargasso Sea, Pt.1- FINALLY! Something new!


The process of reading this book has been mildly annoying. Mainly because I read about 10 pages in the span of the month, then decided to start over and read half of the damn thing in three days. Feel like I wasted a month. Guess life happens sometimes.

Anyways, the book- The whole thing is a retelling of Jane Eyre but set in post-abolitionist Jamaica. The whole thing is fairly interesting in terms of the cultural aspects of the country at the time, describing in detail (but still only giving a minor glimpse) this completely different set of racial segregation where the rich white people are on top, below them the native population/former slaves, and at the bottom are the poor white people. The main character, Antoinette, is pulled up from the very lowest class by marrying up. An intense and one time only social mobility clause built into the society.

From a writing perspective, the book feels as if its translated. I'll have to actually look and see if it is (I KNOW, RIGHT? READING ABOUT READING??). It worked through the first section, as the language reflected that of a young girl growing up, slowly developing language skills as she moves on. The second section is told from the point of view of Antoinette's new husband, though, so it feels awkward and not quite in place. Since he is part of the English upper class, shouldn't he have a more fluid sense of speech?

The story itself is what really gets me, though. This makes me feel as if I am reading a book written by one of those Reggae bands that cover Radiohead or something, and then giving them credit for writing the melody. It's interesting seeing a story of English nobility told in respect to Jamaican history (especially since so much of it is dependent and controlled by England at the time), but I still can't help but feeling like the author is getting credit for someone elses ideas.

Regardless, I'm anticipating the ending and enjoying the read. TO THE END WE GO!

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