My Year of Rest and Relaxation Summary

Ottessa Moshfegh
- 2018
Mental Health
This book is good to read when you feel lonely.

Key Takeaways

  1. Extreme isolation can be a form of self-discovery and personal transformation.
  2. Society’s pressures can be overwhelming, making the need for mental and emotional reprieve more apparent.
  3. Self-medication and escape through sleep can reflect deeper psychological and societal issues.
  4. Recovery and healing are complex and require more than just time away from society’s demands.
  5. The journey towards understanding oneself is often lonely, but ultimately enlightening.


The protagonist of the novel, a young woman living in New York, decides to undergo a year of hibernation aided by sleep medication, with the hope that it will simplify her life and help her come to terms with her issues.

Throughout her year of medication-induced isolation, she confronts her past, her relationships, and her own mental health, with the narrative diving deep into her introspective journey.

The book combines stark realism with dark humor to explore the protagonist’s existential crisis and her attempt to disconnect from a world she finds too noisy and demanding.

'My Year of Rest and Relaxation' challenges readers to reflect on their own lives and the societal expectations that shape them, making it a compelling read for anyone questioning the status quo of their personal and professional lives.

Also recommended

The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

Olivia Laing
- 2016
Olivia Laing’s 'The Lonely City' is a profound exploration of loneliness through the lens of art and the lives of iconic artists. Laing combines personal memoir with cultural history, examining how loneliness can shape creativity and connection in an urban landscape.Read summary

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Gail Honeyman
- 2017
Mental Health
Gail Honeyman’s 'Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine' is a novel about an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose unorthodox behavior and isolated lifestyle hide a tragic past. The story is both heart-wrenching and humorous, exploring themes of loneliness, friendship, and the power of kindness.Read summary

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Stephen Chbosky
- 1999
Young Adult
Stephen Chbosky’s 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' is a coming-of-age novel that delves into the themes of adolescence, loneliness, and the search for identity. Through the letters of the introverted protagonist Charlie, the book navigates the complex terrain of friendship, love, and the struggle to fit in.Read summary
Book Summaries|Book Lists|Tools