Brittany's Reviews > Wish Her Safe at Home

Wish Her Safe at Home by Stephen Benatar
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's review
May 29, 2010

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bookshelves: fiction
Read in May, 2010

When Rachel Warring unexpectedly inherits a mansion from an estranged aunt, she abruptly quits her job, abandons her roommate, and leaves London to live as a "lady" in Bristol. As Rachel begins her new life, the reader soon discovers that her perception of reality seems "off" somehow. People never respond to Rachel as we expect them to, and all her interactions feel awkward. Her reminiscence of her girlhood, her intense imaginative flights, and Benatar's allusions soon reveal that she is a cross between a Blanche DuBois, desperately clinging to a facade, and an Ophelia, scarred by missed opportunities at love.

The book is slow, sometimes confusing, but interesting. I wanted to trust Rachel as a narrator, but it soon becomes clear that she is anything but objective. I found myself excusing Rachel and thinking "she's still not that far gone," but as the book climaxes I watched with discomfort and pity as this sweet, broken woman, descends quickly into madness.

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