Quartet is the second book I read by Jean Rhys, after Wide Sargasso Sea. I was amazed by the characters, as well as how Paris showed itself as if it was a character. Here is a novel that surprises people with its unexpected end.
Quartet tells the exciting story of Marya Zelli. At the very beginning of the book, I had great sympathy for Marya and thought that I would love her very much, no matter what this character did. Although I was a little angry after a certain point, I really couldn’t help loving Marya.
Marya’s life changes from beginning to end with the arrest of her husband, she doesn’t know what he does for a living, but he always treats her very well. While she is thinking about what to do in Paris alone and broke, a woman from her hometown opens her home to her. Of course, this tolerant and graceful woman’s husband falls in love with Marya. I don’t want to tell much about what’s next, but I have to state that Marya is not one of those characters you know and the book is far from cliché. And the Paris in the book is just amazing. I have always loved the books set in Paris and the Paris in Quartet is just about the Paris I love. With everything from its cafes to its narrow streets, Paris comes alive in this book. Enjoy!
Jean Rhys’s first novel, a heartbreaking and disturbingly intimate portrayal of an isolated woman in Paris
Set in a superficially romantic, between-wars Paris, Quartet is a poignant tale of a lonely woman. Set against a background of winter-wet streets, Pernod in smoky cafes and cheap hotel rooms with mauve- flowered wallpaper, Marya tries to make something substantial of her life in order to withstand the unreality of her surroundings. Alone, her Polish husband in prison, she is take up by an English couple who slowly overwhelm her with their passions.
Jean Rhys, CBE, was a mid-20th-century novelist who was born and grew up in the Caribbean island of Dominica. From the age of 16, she was mainly resident in England, where she was send for her education. She is best know for her novel Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), writte as a prequel to Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: