Jean Rhys Reading Week discussion

This topic is about Quartet
Quartet (also known as Postures)

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message 1: by Eric (last edited Jul 21, 2016 06:14AM) (new)

Eric Anderson (lonesomereader) | 26 comments Mod
Discuss Jean Rhys' first novel Quartet (1928)

Alexia (alexia_r) | 3 comments Well, hello!

I read Quartet over the weekend (because, although it's such a nice slim novel, the edition I have has her first four novels in one volume and that is a bit large to carry along on my commute).

I loved it, but I was expecting that!

I could quote all of it, but let's go for this bit from near the beginning:

She began to argue that there was something unreal about English people.
"They touch life with gloves on. They're pretending about something all the time. Pretending quite nice and decent things, of course. But still..."
"Everybody pretends," Marya was thinking. "French people pretend every bit as much, only about different things and not so obviously. She'll know that when she's been here as long as I have."

This sort of sets up the novel for me. Although it's semi-autobiographical as most of Rhys' work is, for me it has a sort of atmosphere of unrealness, of people being artificial... there's also a sense of trying to work out where people stand in relation to each other.

The characters are very finely drawn and the ending manages to be both understated and shocking at the same time.

I enjoyed this more detailed review from Ali Hope this morning:

Is anyone else reading Quartet?

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