Sadie's Reviews > My Year of Rest and Relaxation

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh
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ETA: [Dieses Buch haben wir auch im Papierstau Podcast besprochen (Folge 101: Dalmatiner)] /ETA

This book was a deliciously wicked litte treat. On the surface, it's about a young, pretty and financially independent woman who decides to go into some kind of self induced hibernation, hoping to come out of it better, stronger, renewed. Assisted by a psychiatrist (one of the worst descriptions of a character in the medical profession I've ever read), she tries out many different pills and drugs in order to achive the state of deep sleep she longs for. Sounds like a drag? Oh, no, it's anything but!

Our nameless narrator does seem to live a carefree life for reasons mentioned above. But as it's often the case, these early assumptions are soon enough proven wrong by the narrator's backstory which slowly unfolds - slowly and lazily, just like the drug induced sleep she goes under. So this is not (only) some kind of dark twist on substance abuse aided by doctors, but also a tale of various dysfunctional relationships. Such as:

+ The narrator and her best friend Reva (who is needy, clingy and super annoying but also gets emotionally abused by the narrator which made me pity her after a while)
+ The narrator and her on-and-off "boyfriend" Trevor (in quotes because he really doesn't qualify as such - he mainly uses her to get off whenever he feels like it, and it remains uncertain why the narrator puts up with this)
+ The narrator and her parents, especially her mother (weird, if not creepy) and in contrast: Reva and her parents, especially her mother.

Another fine touch is the time & place it's set in: New York in the early 2000s, pre 9/11 - the characters' innocence and the naiveté they're - of course - absolutely unaware of, adds another dreamlike lawyer to this complex and dark story.

So this is much more than just some "sleepy book". It did lull me in, though: In a way that I couldn't wait to get back to it, its steady rhythm, its comfort of longing for more sleep and then some (a feeling I myself just know too well, zzzzzzzz) and, of course, its unique main character. She may not be likeable, but if I have such an super interesting, quite different, consequential, and unapologetic female character, I couldn't care less. I want more of these out-of-the-box female characters, I want more of Odessa Moshfegh!
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Reading Progress

June 27, 2018 – Shelved
June 27, 2018 – Shelved as: get-this-shortlist
June 27, 2018 – Shelved as: ty-fiction
June 27, 2018 – Shelved as: g-novel
August 9, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
December 6, 2018 – Shelved as: medium-kindle
May 1, 2020 – Started Reading
May 1, 2020 –
5.0% "I wonder if this might be the perfect time to finally read this one - #stayathome and all that..."
May 5, 2020 – Finished Reading
May 7, 2020 – Shelved as: read-author-female-only
May 7, 2020 – Shelved as: read-in-2020
May 7, 2020 – Shelved as: read-in-english
May 7, 2020 – Shelved as: z-mothers-and-daughters
May 11, 2020 – Shelved as: 4-stars-really-liked
May 11, 2020 – Shelved as: z-women-kicking-ass
May 21, 2020 – Shelved as: 0-im-podcast-besprochen

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