Moshfegh’s previous novel was shortlisted for the Man Booker in 2016. Her new one is a sardonic, rewarding departure from more traditional story-telling techniques, about change and resulting self-knowledge. Moshfegh describes an unnamed young woman living in New York: attractive, financially independent, who seems to have it all, but who is unable to rise above her debilitating apathy and ennui for the world, and for herself. She decides to spend a year in a cocoon of drug-induced semi-awareness, after which she is sure she will emerge refreshed and recharged, and more able to cope with the suffocating depression in her life. Her life proceeds in a haze, in and out of blackouts during which she meets people, goes to parties, goes shopping – none of which she can remember afterwards. A needy, self-centred friend and an abusive boyfriend and a pill-pushing psychiatrist are her only active relationships. Moshfegh creates a compellingly complex character which is hard not to become invested in. Her increasing alienation from herself and everything around her, and meaningless drifting days are strangely gripping, and the reader is led on by curiosity as to her fate. A literary, thought-provoking read.