Ottessa Moshfegh


Eileen is a — say it with me now — depressed woman in her early 20s struggles to find meaning in her life: her mother is dead, her father an alcoholic, and she spends her days at her job in a boys' prison, lusting after an overzealous guard who doesn't even know her name. When a rich, elegant and over-qualified new educator arrives, Eileen falls hard for her and resolves that this relationship will be her way out of her dead-end town — whatever it takes. Moshfegh paints a compelling picture of Eileen, but there is just barely enough plot that I wanted more: Rest and Relaxation avoids this problem of course by having none, and being better for it.