It should be depressing, and it is, in one sense: one of the ways Rhys’s achievement has finally been recognised is in her pitch-perfect depiction – and thereby her validation – of female consciousness and experience when the lives of women (and the novels written about them) were thought duller, smaller and less interesting than those of (and written by) men. But Rhys is no crude feminist: her women are helpless and sad, not angry or militant. And yet Sasha’s saving grace is her humour, her willingness to see the comedy, even absurdity, in the most bitter memories and humiliating encounters. Perhaps that’s why she can embrace – literally – an end to the novel which is quietly, hopelessly terrifying: she more than anyone else in the novel understands the pointlessness and inevitability of the comédie humaine . Good Morning Midnight is one of those novels which makes the reader smell and feel their own world anew. By admitting the reader so absolutely to a consciousness at once helpless and sharp-eyed, so thin-skinned that we too feel the icy wind on the café terrace and the tilt of a head with a new hat and the ashiness of new blond cendré hair, Rhys refigures our own consciousness of our own existence.