I had had this book in my Audible library for a long time. I knew of Sylvia Plath, of course, but had never read any of her work. It became time that I did.
And I had no preconceptions, no idea what The Bell Jar is about.
Well, it is said to be semi-autobiographical. I think the ‘semi’ may be an understatement. As a student, Plath had a serious breakdown, and attempted to take her own life. This is a book about the events leading up to that episode, and the way she was treated. I found parts of it deeply disturbing, I came close to giving up when it came to the description of suicidal thoughts and self-harm.
I was struck by how much attitudes have changed in the last 60 or 70 years to so much: race, sex and sexuality, mental health.
The Audible version, read so very well by Maggie Gyllenhall, ended with a biographical note about Sylvia Plath. That was an excellent addition, for which I was grateful.
7 out of 10.