16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Stunning, 31 Mar 2011
This book is stunning, intricate and heart-breaking. It is far more than just a prequel to 'Jane Eyre' (indeed, its anachronisms demonstrate that this is not what it aspires to be); it is an intimate study of the troubled race relations of the West Indies, a torturous depiction of marital betrayal and a devastating exploration of the causes and effects of mental break-down. In much of the novel, Rhys writes - unusually - from the perspective of her male protagonist as well as the female and the interplay between the two voices is fascinating, as is the deeply uncomfortable non-story of how Bertha got her name. Read this when you have the time to be immersed completely in the scents and customs of Jamaica, which Rhys conjures perfectly.