Welcome to the time-travelling bookworm – rebooted! Just like my previous adventures, I will be using my trusty Excel database (which goes back to 2001) to unearth what the heck I was reading all those years ago.
The difference now is that I’m only looking at one book per month – and it’s going to be a surprise! I’m using Google’s random number generator. All I have to do is put in the number of rows that are in my database… and I get a random number! Then I look at the database and see what book the number corresponds to. Exciting, eh?
This month’s book is…
Voyage in the Dark by Jean Rhys. I read it in February 2008. It was required for my literature course, otherwise I doubt I’d have tried it.
Written a long time before her most famous novel, Wide Sargasso Sea, this short book is worth a read if you like the modernist style of writing. I remember finding the story rather depressing, although I did appreciate how Rhys addressed some important themes. Here’s the blurb from the Penguin Modern Classics edition I used to have:
‘It was as if a curtain had fallen, hiding everything I had ever known,’ says Anna Morgan, eighteen years old and catapulted to England from the West Indies after the death of her beloved father. Working as a chorus girl, Anna drifts into the demi-monde of Edwardian London. But there, dismayed by the unfamiliar cold and greyness, she is absolutely alone and unconsciously floating from innocence to harsh experience. Her childish dreams have been replaced by the harsher reality of living in a man’s world, where all charity has its price. Voyage in the Dark was first published in 1934, but it could have been written today. It is the story of an unhappy love affair, a portrait of a hypocritical society, and an exploration of exile and breakdown; all written in Jean Rhys’s hauntingly simple and beautiful style.