My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh
Can you imagine a life outside of the one you’re living? Do you know what is redeemable and what is taboo? It’s easier to answer what you know than to know why you know them. Harder still is to grasp the influence of our thoughts on our actions. And to dissect them into smaller pieces that lead us to pay a penalty for our freedom. What My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh does is it captures a sacrifice that’s grave, perverse, and unimaginable. An idea that, in its recess, is humanity’s greatest weakness. And in being so, it becomes society’s backbone, flowing in its veins and pumping through the world’s heart. And that is letting go of life’s subliminal trophies and embracing a psyche that propels one to seek and destroy a certain way to be. That is what the book characterizes - in a series of bare, unapologetic, and eventful details. Through the looking glass of the protagonist’s life, I saw a heaviness of heart that’s incomparable and incontestable in this world. I enjoyed how fragile, unreserved, and brisk the narration is. To read it is to feel the terror of purposeful loneliness detached from a legacy of affection and familiarity. It’s a culture-shifting book, no doubt, about the absurdity of alienation and attachment. And the effect their cowardice has on us.