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The Bell Jar

By Sylvia Plath
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

A realistic and emotional look at a woman battling mental illness and societal pressures written by iconic American writer Sylvia Plath.

“It is this perfectly wrought prose and the freshness of Plath’s voice in The Bell Jar that make this book enduring in its appeal.” — USA Today

The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that Esther’s neurosis becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies. Such deep penetration into the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche is an extraordinary accomplishment and has made The Bell Jar a haunting American classic.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

1432 Reviews

Loudly Crying Face“I read this at one of the lowest points of my life. I’d been struggling to pick up any book and concentrate, but this one kept me riveted. It didn’t bum me out. It was beautiful. It helped me feel seen, from inside the bell jar. It soothed me, the same way sad songs are cathartic when I’m sad. It made me feel less alone. “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.””
Believable charactersBeautifully writtenEasy to readOriginal writingRealistic settingHeartbreakingThought-provokingAbuseMisogynySelf-harm
Thumbs Up“The grasp this novel holds on my heart is one that will most likely never be let go. The turning of events in Esther’s life provide a realistic viewpoint of the unpredictabilities of life and the effect they can hold on one’s mental state. However, these changes don’t come sudden, creating this feeling of darkness that creeps up on the reader as you dive deeper into its pages. The symbolism found in this novel alone speaks volumes for what an excellent writer Sylvia Plath was.”
Believable charactersDescriptive writingRealistic settingDarkThought-provokingSelf-harm
Anxious Face with sweat“This book made me feel awful but it was beautiful. it was a little TOO real for my liking sometimes…”
Multi-layered charactersBeautifully writtenPoeticDarkMeaningful
Loudly Crying Face“first I’d like to say that the book IS literary fiction, so of course there will be lack of plot — I just need to get into that genre more. As a person struggling with mental illness, I relate to this character a lot as she struggles with love, work, and knowing what to do with her life. The book and the ending really hits hard when you know Plath’s backstory. But YES, there is blatant racism in this book. I’d say it was just the times it was written, but I’m no history buff. Read with caution!”
Multi-layered charactersDescriptive writingThought-provokingRacismSexual assaultUnsatisfying plot
Loudly Crying Face“Without Spoiling the book, it's a insightful look at the slow escalation of mental illness that soon feels almost rational. Was recommended this book by my Girlfriend after I shared with her my favorite book "No longer human" by Osamu Dazai. Very similar themes and tones, just from a young American female perspective. The Bell Jar itself is a great symbolism to what it feels to deal with depression and other mental health disorders. What a mind lost early.”
Believable charactersCharacters change and growRelatable charactersBeautifully writtenEasy to readPoeticTragicDarkHeartbreakingInsightful

About Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath was born in 1932 in Massachusetts. Her books include the poetry collections The Colossus, Crossing the Water, Winter Trees, Ariel, and Collected Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize. A complete and uncut facsimile edition of Ariel was published in 2004 with her original selection and arrangement of poems. She was married to the poet Ted Hughes, with whom she had a daughter, Frieda, and a son, Nicholas. She died in London in 1963.

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