Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys

Good Morning MidnightAnother soul wrenching tale from Jean Rhys delivers the goods with such forthrightness that there’s no mistaking the intended tone right from the start.  No apologies here, so expect souls to be bared with no dignity intact.

Flashing back, we learn how a middle-aged woman has ended up in a shabby hotel in Paris attempting to drink her sorrows away with little success.

Sasha Jansen has turned to alcohol to numb the pain of her empty and passing life.  She frequents bars and spends time with other lost souls, none finding the key to happiness.  An early marriage to a neer do well has left her bitter and hopeless in love and financial woes have her at the mercy of what few friends remain to help support her.  A very sad woman who not many would want to spend time with.

Rene, a gigolo Sasha meets has the looks and charms to keep him in business.  He is fascinated with Sasha and tries to decide if perusing her would result in any financial gain.  He too is a sad person numbing himself with scheming.  Someone else to avoid.

A young Ukrainian, Nicolas Delmar, seems to enjoy Sasha’s company and philosophize on life’s quandaries.  He may have an ulterior motive and may also be another lost should searching for nirvana.

Quotes:

If you’ve got to walk around by yourself, it’s easier when the lamps are lit.

This is another lavatory that I know very well, another of the well-known mirrors…But it’s not as bad as it might be.  This is just the interval when drink makes you look nice, before it makes you look awful.  

What to discuss with Ms. Rhys…that could require lightly treading.  Not sure if a Pernod or absinthe would be appropriate so perhaps instead I’d suggest a short stroll and pray she’d open up about her troubled life and wonderful talents.

My rating for Good Morning, Midnight is an 8 out of 10.

Please share your own review or comments using the link below.

Next up, Iris Murdoch’s A Severed HeadA Severed Head

 

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