The Bell Jar

While reading Silver Linings Playbook ("SLP"), the protagonist reads a series of books in effort to be better read and to impress his estranged wife.  As the character mentions the books he's reading, The Bell Jar is mentioned, and I hadn't heard of it before. So I added it to my library queue.  Wow! What a depressing book.

Book aside, the author, who I Googled while reading, was quite the depressing person herself.  It's heartbreaking to read of her own life story, which was the inspiration for the character in this book (which is why I looked her up...) I'm going in circles here. But, man, just sad all around.  I read an article where someone was disputing the findings that Plath (the author) took her own life, at age 30 by the way.  She had struggled with depression just about her whole life. She was found in the kitchen, her young children upstairs.  She had wet some towels and put them at the doors, so as to not let air escape the room she was in. She turned on the gas stove, no flame of course. She put her head deep into the oven.  She didn't take her own life?

Back to the book.  Do not read this book if you are struggling with something. Don't pick up this book on a tough day, even if you think it will make your struggles look better because you aren't in this characters shoes.  The SLP protagonist says this book is from a high school reading list?  I'm not one for banning nor burn books, or anything like that. But I'm glad I didn't read this is high school. And if I have children, I wouldn't want them to read this story.  I know I was a bit naive and behind the times on some things growing up, but this would have been way too much for me. Though I probably wouldn't have even understood much of it to be honest. BUT, I think that is one of the important things about books.  Understanding the message, not just reading the story. I don't think high school aged kids would really understand the story here, and no, I'm not selling them short.  I just think there are much more age appropriate books they could read and learn from.

Good book for adults. Heart wrenching story.  Read when you are happy, though do expect to feel a little down afterwards, so maybe have a nice treat on the nightstand to reward and cheer yourself back up with.


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