Books

Review: The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath ***

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”

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Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic. 

This classic had been on my list for a long time and although I’d heard some mixed reviews, I still went into this book expecting great things.

The book starts off with Esther in New York doing an internship. There’s a lot of alcohol abuse, drugs and unhealthy eating habits. While most of the girls go to parties, Esther and her roommate pass their free time in a slightly different fashion. It’s fair to say that Esther’s roommate is not good company nor a good example.

Esther’s life starts to unravel. Slowly but surely she starts to lose interest in the world and her life. It’s her descend into insanity.

I tagged quite a lot of passages and quotes because I thought they were beautifully written but the overall feeling I was left with was just ‘unimpressed’. I wanted a heart-wrenching, mind-blowing, hit you right in the feels kind of book. Instead I got a girl who became depressed and couldn’t find her way out of the dark.

I know depression, I know self-loathing this book did nothing for me. At some times there was a glimmer of something more, but it never blossomed in something great.

I expected too much and was left disappointed.

The reason I still gave this book three stars is because I didn’t hate it. I’m neutral about the whole thing, it will not stay with me but I can understand why other people love it.

Have you read it?

Did you like it?

Love

Ellen

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