My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

restI have to be honest, I don’t quite know how I feel about this book. I didn’t dislike it. I read it quickly and it kept me interested. But I didn’t like it. Truthfully, maybe I am just not the right demographic for this book. Who knows.

The (unnamed) narrator of the book lives in Manhattan, has enough money to be self-sufficient, is beautiful and in theory has everything one could want and one does envy. But she isn’t happy. So she decides to take a year off of life and sleep. Through flashbacks and her relationship with her ‘friend’ Reva, we get a glimpse as to what drove her to this decision.

The story is set in 2000/2001 (and we all know what happens in the fall of 2001 in Manhattan). So it’s definitely a different time in terms of technology and most importantly (I think) it’s the pre-911 world and that has a different feel to it. I did find it interesting to see that world through my post-911 experience.

This book reminded me of two things, one was Infinite Jest – with the excessive prescription drug use and details about them (although happily this book does without the ad-nauseam footnotes detailing each drug). This also reminded me of the book ‘How Should A Person Be?” by Sheila Heti. I had the same reaction to that book as I did to this one.

I get where the book is coming from and I guess for me, I just didn’t fully relate to the characters (they all seem shallow, vapid and self-centered), or buy into the overall premise. As I said, I didn’t dislike the book. It’s well written and crafted, that’s for sure.

I can’t say I highly recommend this one. However, if you are a fan of her work, or you are looking for something different then this is a good read for you.

I gave it a 3/5 star rating on Goodreads.

Full disclosure: I received this eARC from NetGalley for a fair and honest review. (Thanks NetGalley!)

3 thoughts on “My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

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