Author: Sylvia Plath
Summary: A student from Boston wins a guest editorship on a national magazine, and finds a new world at her feet. Her New York life is crowded with possibilities, so the choice of future is overwhelming. She is faced with the perennial problems of morality, behaviour and identity.
My Rating: 7/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: Overall the book was okay. It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but the overall affect of the story made it worth reading it in the end.
The writing was exception. Sylvia Plath has a very distinct voice that takes hold of the reader. I may not have been able to connect with the protagonist, which was part of the reason why I didn’t like the book that much, but the author does make the reader pay close attention to what she has to say. I also really enjoyed the author’s examination on the treatment of people who have mental illness during this time and how they were perceived by others. This was exceptionally well done. She really pulls the reader in and forces them to see just how horrible it was for anyone with a mental illness when they were being “treated.” I really enjoyed this aspect of the book, and I wish it was focused on more than it was.
What I didn’t like was that I felt that the first part of the book moved slowly, the build up to the “breakdown,” took to long to come. I didn’t care much about her life in New York. I also found that I didn’t enjoy the man character all to much, nor could I connect to her or her dealings with depression. It made it hard to fully understand her, when I was unable to actually connect to the character.
Overall I think if you look at the book as an examination of how people, were treated who had a mental illness, the book a great read and has some strong points in that regard. As for a book that examines the individual character’s plight and struggle with depression, I don’t think it is as strong as it could have been.
Would I recommend it to read: It’s not my favourite book out there, but I still think I would recommend this book to read. I think it makes a very important stance on depression and how it was dealt with back then, and the conditions and treatments people went through because they were mentally ill. I think this book shows that incredibly well, so it’s worth reading in this regard to help get the message out.
What to read next: The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood. I think there are some good parallels between the two protagonists from both books. The Hours