Author: Jean Rhys.
Wide Sargasso Sea takes place in the Caribbean during the 1830’s. It follows Antoinette Cosway through her childhood and onto her adulthood. She is a woman of Creole descends so she feels a sense of un-belonging. This theme reflects back to her earlier novel Good Morning Midnight (1939), which had themes of isolation, racial ambiguity and not belonging also.
The core idea of the novel is that Antoinette doesn’t belong anywhere. The black Jamaicans do not accept her, and she does not belong in Europe so there is that sense racial ambiguity and cultural limbo. She doesn’t feel at home in her country of birth. It’s a really interesting topic. I’ve felt that cultural limbo and sense of not belonging alot myself since I’ve a mixed ethnicity – Irish & Thai – and I live in Ireland.
The story revolves around her days in a school and moves onto her troubled marriage where her husband acts coldly to her.
The plot throughout is a bit thin and the drama wanes a bit in the second half of the novel, but it has interesting political and social topics.