"The Bell Jar"

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

I had this book on my Kobo reader, thinking I'd read a chapter every night before I went to sleep. Problem is, I couldn't stop once I started. I did the one chapter a night thing for about three nights and couldn't stand it anymore. The next day I started it over again and read the whole thing in a couple of sittings. It's absolutely fascinating. The author writes with such an authentic voice that I think most people who read it must find something of themselves in Esther Greenwood, the main character.

Esther is an attractive, intelligent college student trying to cope with life as her mental health declines. Her downward spiral is so well described that you question it's even happening at first. It's realistic to the point that it seems normal. All of us have had some of these thoughts at one time or another, or at least thoughts similar to Esther's. Eventually though, the darkness descends and you realize things are not normal anymore.

The Bell Jar was first published in 1963, but it's one of those I missed somehow and only got around to reading now. Most of you have probably read it, but if you haven't, really, you have to get yourself a copy. It's brilliant, emotional and tragic. It is said to mirror the author's own struggle with mental illness, a comparison hard to argue when you consider that Sylvia Plath took her own life a month after publication.

I'll never forget this stunning story.
Read it.


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