Who has read Bell Jar and what did you think?

Who has read Bell Jar and what did you think?

17 Answers

  • I didn’t get all the hype about it. Maybe it was pushing boundaries in its day. Maybe I need to reread it.

  • I love her journals. Her writing is so vibrant and intense in those. Maybe that’s why I felt a little let down by the more conventional book format.

  • I’m a few chapters in and there are some things that I kind of relate to

  • I really liked it. I reread it last year. I first read it in high school (late 80s).

  • I adored it.
    It starts off a little strange, like she’s writing a character that doesn’t feel authentic or genuine but halfway in the shift is breathtaking. It feels self reflective, personal, and painful. If you let it, it reads like a memoir.

    Some of my favorite poems of hers are: Sow, Daddy, Tulips, Lady Lazarus, Poppies in July, and Mirror.

    People like to think of Plath & romanticize her suicide but the most powerful thing about her to me was that she was balancing raising babies and being a full time writer. She was so dedicated to her art. There are stories about friends letting Ted use their apartment as a quiet place to write – but not allowing Sylvia the same luxury because she was a woman and she was supposed to be at home.

    If you do feel a little nosey (we all do!) then his collection “Birthday Letters” about her is astounding.

  • One of my favorite books. It is an amazing portrait of mental illness and so ahead of its time.

    • I agree it creates a good portrait of mentally ill and few options available to them in choices of treatment

  • I couldn’t get into it, but so many people like it, maybe I’ll try it again.

  • Agree with Eileen’s comment. Finished it but not my fav but that is the thing about books… read it and decide for yourself… people see different things

  • I enjoyed a smart young woman’s perspective on the things she was going through in the book. Struck me as a very personal/real and unapologetic book, which is hard to do, and since female authors are generally underrepresented in what I read, a nice change of pace.

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