Royal Reviews “My Year of Rest and Relaxation”

By Isabella Barberio | Staff Writer

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh gained popularity at the end of 2021, so I figured it would be a great book to start 2022.

This book is ideal for anyone in their early or mid-twenties. I greatly enjoyed reading it; once I started, I couldn’t stop.

It was set in the year 2000 to 2001. It was extremely interesting reading about the life of young adults navigating life during the early 2000s.

Jia Tolentino reviewed My Year of Rest and Relaxation for The New York.

“Ottessa Moshfegh is easily the most interesting contemporary American writer on the subject of being alive when being alive feels terrible,” said Tolentino.

This was a wonderful way to describe the theme of this book. The book takes place through the eyes of the protagonist, a woman in her twenties living in New York City, who remains unnamed throughout the book.

The main subject of the book is the chemical imbalance that is occurring in the protagonist’s brain, where she believes that a “year of rest and relaxation” would be beneficial. She finds a careless therapist who prescribes her any sleeping pills she desires and takes them all at once.

Some of the pills she takes include Neuroproxin, Maxiphenphen, Valdignore, Silencior, Seconol, Nembutal, Valium, Librium, Placydil, Noctec, and Miltown.

She puts herself into a chemical imbalance after the death of her parents, although years before she starts her hibernation, their deaths played an important role in her life.

I did, however, believe My Year of Rest and Relaxation portrayed an unhealthy depiction of mental health where instead of trying to solve her mental health issues, she decides to just live amongst them and make them worse. The book felt like a romanticization of drugs, although I do not believe that was the author’s intention.

I think it was a wonderful book. When I read it, I was brought into another world.