The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

Oct 26

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

I have somehow made it through several reading decades never having read this amazing book.

J’accuse you of an egregious omission, every lit teacher I have ever had!

It’s weird to say that I loved this book, due to the dark subject matter and Sylvia Plath’s tragically short life…but I was absolutely fascinated the whole way through.

Esther seems like the perfect example of an “It Girl” in the 1960s. She is an aspiring author, she dates a lot, she attends a good college, and she gets to spend a solid month in New York City after winning a contest. This perfectly perfect life unravels as Esther leaves NYC and succumbs to a mental breakdown. As the story was semi-autobiographical, it was definitely painful to read. The bouts with depression and suicide are often peppered with humor and lush observations.

This book is poignant, memorable, explicit, and shall be read again in this reader’s life.

Has a ‘classic’ novel ever surprised you?

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