Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys: A Favourite

This novel made a strong impression on me when I read it as a teenager. It works as a prequel to Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, supplying the back story of one of the characters from that book, namely Mr Rochester's mad wife Bertha. Here, her name is Antoinette and she's a creole girl, displaced from her home in Jamaica to England. The story is defined by her memories of the lush, beautiful island of her childhood, but also a kind of feverishness, and I think that this wonderful cover captures that perfectly. Sadly, I haven't been able find out who the illustrator is, but this is one of my all-time favourite book covers.

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