I borrowed Jean Rhys’ Good Morning, Midnight (1939) from a friend, and found it an amazing read. It took me a while to get through thanks to my heavy final-year studies, but the novel actually accompanied some of my topics quite well.
I’m studying how law affects gender, as well as victimology at the moment. I have uncovered horrific tales of how patriarchy affects so many women - both physically and metaphorically, and statistics that show how widespread the problem is. The image of Sophia curled up on the bed really chimes with the images of female ‘survivors’ (feminist victimologists’ preferred term for those who suffer from domestic abuse - as opposed to ‘victims’), albeit in a slightly different context:
When he has gone I turn over on my side and huddle up, making myself as small as possible, my knees almost touching my chin. I cry in a way that hurts right down, that hurts your heart and your stomach. Who is this crying? The same one who laughed on the landing, kissed him and was happy. This is me, this is myself, who is crying. The other - how do I know who the other is? She isn’t me.