Must Read Monday is a weekly thing I do here to recommend books I’ve read and enjoyed. I might sometimes throw in something I gave 3 stars to, but for the most part they’re books I gave a 4-5 star rating to. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily amazing literature, but it does mean I liked them enough to recommend them to other people.
When I read it: Before I had a goodreads, so I’m actually not sure. Probably 2006-09, so it’s been a while.
Genres: classics; literary fiction; fiction: mental health; fiction: feminism
Recommended for: In all honestly, I recommend this to almost everyone. However, I would suggest those with mental illness and/or those triggered by some themes to consider reading reviews and checking lists for trigger warnings first.
What it’s about:
Sylvia Plath’s shocking, realistic, and intensely emotional novel about a woman falling into the grip of insanity.
Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.
This book changed me. I remember reading it and relating to Esther a lot more than I probably should have (most likely because I relate to Sylvia Plath more than I should), and realizing for the first time that I’m really not the only person who feels this way.
It has been quite some time since I read this, and I’m thinking about re-reading it soon (or now, since I’m thinking of plucking it off my shelf right this second). I do remember it being a darker book. It’s beautifully written and I do highly recommend it, but I also think it can bring up a lot of issues for some people.
On the subject of reading/re-reading it, if anyone wants to buddy-read it, let me know 🙂 I’m probably actually not going to start it right this moment, but soon(ish).