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Sylvia and Ted

2.93  ·  Rating Details ·  150 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
A fictional re-creation of the turbulent courtship, marriage, and separation of poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes.

In intense, dramatic prose, Emma Tennant unfolds a story of passion, conflict, and betrayal. Creating a series of unforgettable images she reconstructs the twentieth century's most famous literary love affair and the tempestuous triangle between Hughes, Plath,
ebook, 192 pages
Published May 12th 2001 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published January 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sep 28, 2012 zespri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another take on the marriage of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Written in a rather obscure poetic format, I had to think quite a bit to understand what the author was actually trying to tell us. Maybe she was trying to imitate the language of Sylvia Plath - I am not sure.

Anyway, it was a haunting sad novel, we know the end from the beginning - and I just get mad with Ted Hughes every time I read another Sylvia book. She probably was a very difficult woman to live with, but she still did no
Apr 04, 2010 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, lit-fiction
this book is a fictionalized account of the sad story of the marriage of sylvia plath and ted hughes, which ended when plath committed suicide after finding out that hughes was having an affair with assia wevill (what a name).more tragedy was to follow as some years later assia also committed suicde after killing her daughter.obviously hughes didn't have much luck with women, or should i say women didn't have much luck with him.i get the distinct impression that most of the fault lies with him.t ...more
I suppose one mark of a so-so book is if you can't remember much of it. The lives of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes were intense and tumultuous and rife with suffering. One would think their lives would engender a richly drawn novel. Unfortunately, Tennant fails in this regard. This novel moves along limply, without the gusto it deserves.
Very dark book. A little confusing at times.. went back and forth a lot and wasn't able to keep track of the past, present and future. It was a sad story as well. Perhaps I need to do a bit more research on Sylvia Platt before I judge too harshly.
Feb 08, 2009 Jaimee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 02, 2013 Rebecca rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely bilious. Overwrought, overwritten, overdone.
Reads like a teenager's earnest attempt at a novel. Put it down - immediately.
Aug 23, 2012 Brontepunk rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Kristi Thompson
Odd book. All mood, very few events: it was like this, and it was like that, and years did pass somehow... reading it was like eating whipped skim milk.

Depressing and compelling, but hardly a narrative; more a meditation, or an enormously stretched out poem. The imagery was poetic, and the few details: the scarlet headband, the table, the hand under the tap holding a knife. Fairy tales.

Perhaps because it was based on real people, and she had few definite events to deal with? I suppose much of it
Oct 17, 2013 Amy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was hoping for something biography-like, maybe for something that will give me more light on Sylvia and Ted relationship. What I got, was over poetic, way over dramatised and to be honest, quite boring. If not for my interest in Sylvia Plath life I would probably just leave it. And don't get me wrong - I know that many things in her life were dramatic, especially for such fragile and vulnerable mind as she possessed but the way author show was definitely over the top and too tragic as far I my ...more
Interesting. Though to read this you need to know the story in advance which I did, the events and what really happened or at least the things tha can be verified by others.

Only there are three events/scenes that are perhaps either made up or new information.

Personally, I don't know why, I'm inclined to think that these 'imaginative' scenes probably did happen, Tennant has no proof other than something someone told her.
Humans love a mystery... this one will run and run because of it.
Jul 08, 2014 Kathryn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Eh. A bit try-hard to recreate poetry as verse. I know nothing about poetry, but this seemed a bit forced. Still, I was one of many who idolised Sylvia Plath as an angst-riddened teenager, so I was convinced to give it a go. :)
Jul 26, 2010 Kayla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great fictional story about the twisted love of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. The writing style was perfect for a novel about two such emotionally driven people. Definitely a must-read if you are interested in Sylvia Plath as I was.
Jun 25, 2012 Velvetink rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, biography, poetry
10 cent score
Dec 21, 2013 Amber rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Aug 30, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
This felt overwritten to me. Better than underwritten, I suppose!

I'd be curious to see more of her work.
Jan 26, 2016 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ecxellent recreation of the marriage of Plath and Hughes. thpugh fictionalzed, it rings true.
alice rated it liked it
Sep 28, 2007
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Jan 24, 2008
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Bobbie M. rated it did not like it
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Babette rated it it was ok
Jan 15, 2013
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May 17, 2008
Bethany rated it it was amazing
Sep 11, 2012
Megan Fadgen
Megan Fadgen rated it really liked it
May 23, 2009
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Jessica Langhammer rated it it was ok
Jun 14, 2013
Margaret rated it it was ok
Feb 04, 2011
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Jan 26, 2008
Caitlin rated it liked it
May 09, 2008
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Jennifer Aiello rated it did not like it
Oct 09, 2014
Catherine Hill
Catherine Hill rated it it was ok
Feb 27, 2016
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Since the early 1970s, when she was in her mid-thirties, Emma Tennant has been a prolific novelist and has established herself as one of the leading British exponents of "new fiction." This does not mean that she is an imitator of either the French nouveaux romanciers or the American post-modernists, although her work reveals an indebtedness to the methods and preoccupations of some of the latter. ...more
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