A review by the_mymble_daughter
My Year of Rest and Relaxation, by Ottessa Moshfegh

challenging reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


Up until the last 40 pages it was a 4.5, upon finishing it’s a 4.0

Oddly felt quite light when I finished it. It was an absorbing read, I found that the world felt very real, I could imagine it entirely. Moshfegh’s narrator was expertly crafted, the realest person I’ve ever read. I enjoyed her style of writing a lot, a fab mix of gross, gritty yet also funny, getting a few laughs out of me!

I feel I could’ve read 200 more pages of the first 240 but after that I feel like it wrapped up a bit too fast and the ending is a little… unexpected? Slightly rushed too, especially for a story where generally nothing happens. I think the message is good but after all that has happened I think if she were real that wouldn’t be the outcome as its a bit too optimistic/hopeful; for such a character as her it kind of did an injustice to the overall sense of bleakness that had previously been created. Almost feels like all the work of creating an atmosphere had been undone with no real semblance of reason or care. I do think the same conclusion could’ve been come to eventually but it needed more than 10 pages.

I did definitely enjoy it however, the moral ambiguity and absurdity of it made it gripping. There’s something very raw and cold about it, she’s absolutely horrid and I love it! I think most that read it will find unpleasant parts of her personality within themselves yet at the same time find her as a whole utterly abhorrent. It’s a reminder that as humans we cannot be the perfect people we ourselves wish others to be. Though, she is quite fiercely bigoted, which I hope no one relates to….

The notion of my future suddenly snapped into focus: it didn’t exist yet. I was making it, standing there..

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