The heartbreaking story of a talented young woman who descends into madness.
My first Sylvia Plath read. Interesting description of a turn with mental illness. Really showed some of the angst associated with being a young adult in the 50s.
This book was a fairly quick read. An attempt for me to read a "classic". I want to by no means dismiss Plath's powerful life story on any level, but this book did not delight me as I hoped it would. I found it strange, and slow, and a little bit boring even.
An essential read for all young feminists. I sent it to my 18-year-old great-grandaughter and would recommend it to all my "greats" (27) male and female.
Absolutely one of my favorite books. It is heavy and a bit crazy but a fantastic read. Sylvia Plath is one of the most fascinating writers, and if you have never read a Plath novel this is a wonderful starter!
I went into this book not knowing a whole lot about Sylvia Plath
. I knew that she was a poet and had written The Bell Jar
, her only novel and that she committed suicide at age 30. The Bell Jar
is really a hard hitting novel with its depictions of mental illness. It was reminiscent of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
but to me was more poignant in that it was really a semi-biographical account of Plath's younger life. The protagonist's name in the novel is Esther and the novel recounts her life as a young guest editor of a teen magazine and her steady mental breakdown. Plath describes these bouts of mental illness as being inside a bell jar where the air is stifling and there is no way out. After an attempted suicide, Esther is put into an asylum with the crude care of 1950's psychiatry including shock treatments and insulin therapy. She is eventually able to leave but she never knows when the "bell jar" will descend on her life again.
Plath's writing was very descriptive and not all of it was depressing. There is humor spread throughout the novel and some have compared this to a female version of Catcher in the Rye
. But this really gave an eye-opening account of mental illness and depression and overall I would recommend it highly.
I absolutely understand why this book is considered a classic. Sylvia Plath wrote this in a way that really brings you into her head, right alongside her every thought.
Sylvia Plath is a master of leading one down the path of the descent into madness and despair. The voice of the character draws the reader in, in a hypnotic, can't-put-this-down, kind of way.
A very dark, gloomy book. Maybe to be expected as the author ended up committing suicide. I didn't really find much of interest to this book.
About a young woman on her own in NYC as a junior editor and her struggles with her phychological demons. Very well written and interesting.