Kate's Reviews > The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
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's review
Apr 25, 11

bookshelves: reviewed
Recommended for: Women, English lit students

At first, this novel was not what I expected; I don't know why but I somehow expected it to be heavy handed from the get go. However, the narrative subtly built up Esther's fragile mental state before a key event brings it to the foreground. At this point the novel becomes a difficult read (more what I expected) as we delve into the depths of despair.

Plath's skill as a novelist is that she doesn't let poetry invade the prose as some poets might be inclined to do when embarking on such a project. The text does have its lyrical moments and at points it is easy to hear Plath's drawl over Esther's narrative.

This is one of those books that is often touted as 'essential reading', but I feel as though it really is a very important piece to read. I read it when I was experiencing a particularly bad period personally, and it helped me to get a handle on things.

It's a very heavy emotional book, though, so I'd avoid it if you're not in the mood (or unprepared) for something like that.
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