*Simone's Reviews > Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath

Your Own, Sylvia by Stephanie Hemphill
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Feb 13, 2012

it was amazing
Read on February 13, 2012

Written in the styles of her most famous works, Your Own Sylvia is a shocking insight into the troubled mind of the plagued poet Sylvia Plath. Hemphill creates a realistic portrait of Plath’s relationship with those around her, using carefully crafted verses as vehicles for emotion. Through their eyes, we see the struggles of a talented young women, fighting to find peace with herself.

I found this verse novel to be a moving and powerful introduction to Sylvia Plath. Coming into the book with no background knowledge of her, I feel as if I personally know the woman and her friends and family after reading this novel. The details and different descriptions used in each poem create a beautiful picture for the reader, which is not repetitive at all. Rather, it is creative and real. I don’t think the author used the same adjective twice throughout the book. And the words were carefully chosen as well, each one fitting with the style and tone of the poem. I felt as if I was immersed in Plath’s life. The author tells a story not only with poems, but with helpful footnotes which explain the form of the poem, and give extra information on the current narrating character, and the style the verses are based on. This was helpful at times, but took away from the story as I became enchanted with the novel. In spite of this, I would not have fully understood the plot of the book without these notes. The aspect of the book which I most enjoyed was the rich language and seemingly fictional plot of a real woman’s life. I would recommend this book to mature teen and adult readers who are willingly to take a peek at the suicidal emotions and thoughts of Sylvia Plath. Anyone interested in Plath’s work, especially The Belljar, will appreciate this insight into her life. Younger readers may not fully understand the concepts in this book, or be comfortable with Plath’s suicide attempts and stay at a mental institution. More mature readers will find Your Own, Sylvia by Stephanie Hemphill to be a majestic novel, providing a look into the life and works of Sylvia Plath.
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