I am perfectly ambivalent about Wide Sargasso Sea. Every reaction I had to the book is balanced by its opposite reaction:
- The moody, languid prose captured the tropical setting: I longed for a more direct narrative.
- The switches in perspective deepened the relationships among the characters: it was frustratingly difficult to track who was saying what and when they were saying it.
- The themes of madness, alcoholism, cruelty, and love were fascinating: the characters were all horrible and it was awful to watch them destroy themselves and each other.
- The connection between the heroine and the insane wife in Jane Eyre is an inspired literary device; the tie-in with Jane Eyre is a manipulative gimmick.
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