My Year of Rest and Relaxation ~ by Ottessa Moshfech

Bottom line –  it’s a very good book if you can stand a bit of perversity.  Except for the yukkie parts,  which were not as indelicate as in Moshfegh’s other novels, I really rather enjoyed the book .  

Our unnamed 1st person narrator is depressed. She is very seriously depressed,  rejecting the world and all it entails in order to sleep.  Yes,  she wants to sleep 16 hours or more a day.  A smart, pretty, well educated, and financially independent young woman,  she had found  herself orphaned while still in college or just afterwards.  She had a boyfriend for awhile but he was far more abusive and distant than available and loving, but she still can’t actually let go of him.  She found herself a rather odd therapist who prescribes relaxants and sleeping aids (per her complaints and requests) and started to really enjoy sleeping.  She gets fired from a good job (for sleeping) and lives on her inheritance and sleeping aids and bits of food.  By the time she is 24 she is sleeping an abnormal amount and always tries for more. 

My Year of Rest and Relaxation 
by Ottessa Moshfech
2018/ 301 pages
Read by Julia Whelan – 7h 14m
Rating:  8.5  –  general fiction

Many readers will object to the workings of this young woman’s mind.  She’s really pretty screwed up and it can get less than attractive. . But at the same time there is something peculiarly likable and sympathetic about her.  I was curious how this would all turn out and much of the book is how she got this way.   

The bulk of the book consists of her version of her life to this point although what’s going to happen to her next is more interesting and contains the tension of the book.  

Well,  too much sleep can have side effects and her mental state is not improving anyway.   When she starts doing things while sleeping it gets quite worrisome if you’re connecting with her and the tension builds nicely.  

Enjoy,  if you like Moshgegh or are curious about her work, but have heard unpleasant things.  She did make the Booker List in 2017 for Eileen.(My review on this site.)

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4 Responses to My Year of Rest and Relaxation ~ by Ottessa Moshfech

  1. Lisa Hill says:

    It’s a bit of a thing, lately, writing characters with mental illness…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I believe that’s true – dysfunctional families seem to encourage going a bit deeper – lol. Moshfeigh seems to have made a name for herself doing it. A lot of crime novels work with it. Maybe the world we live in calls for realism in fiction. lol


  2. I enjoyed this, not as much as Eileen though. I took it to be an exploration of grief and thought it worked on that level. She’s an interesting writer.

    Liked by 1 person

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