Review: My Year of Rest and Relaxation, by Ottessa Moshfegh

34405666Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Contemporary Fiction


This is a weird book, with an odd protagonist – she is a beautiful, rich heiress with a cynical and witty personality. I didn’t realize while reading it, only as I started this review, but the narrator is never named. Despite all her privileges, she isn’t happy. But not to worry, she has a plan! A year of rest and relaxation – that is what she needs! So she leaves her job and starts seeing a rather irresponsible therapist, who’ll give her all the medication she needs to sleep for a whole year.

Yes! Sleep – for a year! That is our heroine’s grand plan for achieving well-being. While most of us try to squeeze a bit of self-care in stolen minutes and hours of our busy schedules, our protagonist chooses a deeply unhealthy coping method. I found her absolutely insufferable, lazy, spoiled. It was so addictive to read! She is clearly depressed, so maybe if you have depression this could be a trigger for you. This shocking decision does not sit well with Reva, her best friend. She struggles to fit within her ideal of a New York woman – thin, fashionable, knowledgeable in all gossip. Reva suffers from bulimia and is unhealthily obsessed with her looks, so please be aware of your own sensitivity if you’re going to read this book.

Actually, this whole book has many unhealthy behaviors, from beginning to end, and it isn’t a “love cures all” story, not a story about hope. It’s simply the story of a woman sleeping for a year.

It’s a bold, interesting, addictive story! There is something about it that reminds me of Edith Wharton, almost like Jane Austen lived in the 2000s and decided to write an awfully sarcastic book. Does that make any sense? There is a feeling of classic in the main character, a very fictional trait – perhaps it’s all the crazy, careless and unrealistic decisions she keeps making for herself. But it’s an unbelievable story in a good way, in an interesting way. If you like “unlikable” heroines, you’ll love this book.

I loved it and had lots of fun reading it! I think it won’t be a book for everyone, but I thought it was unique and bold.

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14 thoughts on “Review: My Year of Rest and Relaxation, by Ottessa Moshfegh

  1. Seems like a very interesting story! I admit I haven’t read anything like this before. This one’s something new. Even I sometimes feel so tired and want to sleep for a year. I’m not really serious with that of course 😂 nice review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh I know what you mean about this kind of having a classic feel to it! I think a lot of the discontent that the protagonist feels toward her society could definitely have parallels in Austen’s and Wharton’s novels. But instead of the romantic resolution this is kind of a depressing subversion of that narrative.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! It’s such a brilliant and strange book. I was a bit reluctant to write about it reminding me of Wharton because I was thinking it would sound snobbish, so I am so glad someone thinks the same!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t think I’ve read anything quite similar to this! I’ll definitely check this out, and thank for the depression warning! I am not in that situation anymore but I tend to feel anxious still when it gets mentioned in books or other media.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, me too. I don’t have symptoms anymore, but I do get upset reading about depression/anxiety in books without knowing what I was getting into… I hope you like this book, it’s really unique!

      Liked by 1 person

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