Wide Sargasso Sea
Publication Date: August 1992
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Jean Rhys's reputation was made upon the publication of this passionate and heartbreaking novel, in which she brings into the light one of fiction's most mysterious characters: the madwoman in the attic from Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. Set in the Caribbean, its heroine is Antoinette Cosway, a sensual and protected young woman who is sold into marriage to the prideful Rochester. In this best-selling novel, Rhys portrays a society so driven by hatred, so skewed in its sexual relations, that it can literally drive a woman out of her mind."
Jean Rhys' 1966 novel Wide Sargasso Sea endeavors to create a back story to Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. Though author Sara Paretsky usually resists such "vampire novels," she fell hard for Rhys' heart-chokingly urgent tale of Rochester's Madwoman. More at NPR.org
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