The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath
Although I've read this book a few times, upon each reading I appreciate something different about it. My book group is tackling depression and mental illness by reading The Bell Jar and All the Things We Never Knew (in September). I reflected on my younger-days obsession with Plath when her son, who was just a baby when she committed suicide, also took his own life.
What struck me this time was the sheer beauty of the writing. It is so clear that this novelist was a poet. And evident to many in my book group was the fact that Plath makes depression and mental illness seem so normal, almost matter of fact. It was just something she was dealing with, nothing to make a big drama about.
Sadly, she was trapped in a time when women had to rely on men for finances, and when her husband Ted Hughes had an affair, she ended up saddled with two children and severe depression that was just too much to bear.
Such a gifted woman and such a loss to the world.