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 taken up by an English couple who slowly overwhelm her with their passions.


  • [Quartet] belongs to the new tradition in prose, which shuns elaboration for sharpness and intensity of effect
    The New York Times

About the author

Jean Rhys

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