by Sylvia Plath

Reviewer Rating:
5
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Review

I read Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar when I was in high school and barely remembered any of it. This semi-autobiographical novel tells the story of nineteen-year-old Esther Greenwood's nervous breakdown and institutionalization in the 1950s. While much of Esther's anguish is caused by societal pressures to conform to the mid-century life of wife- and motherhood, I was struck by how relatable Esther's struggle to plan her future is to a contemporary reader. She is her own greatest ally and worst enemy. Sylvia Plath's background as a poet is obvious; the prose sings and the images are beautiful and haunting. The audio version is narrated by Maggie Gyllenhaal, and her voice rang completely true to the text for me. The audio format was a great way to revisit this novel and really help it sink in. I'm glad I took the time to revisit it.

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