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When Esther Greenwood wins an internship on a New York fashion magazine in 1953 she is elated, believing she will finally realise her dream of becoming a writer. But in between the cocktail parties and piles of manuscripts, Esther’s life begins to slide out of control. She finds herself spiralling into serious depressions. She grapples with difficult relationships and a society that refuses to take her aspirations seriously.
This is Sylvia Plath’s only novel and was first published in 1963. She is an excellent poet but is known to many for this largely autobiographical work. The Bell Jar itself describes how it feels to fall into a period of serious depression. Anyone suffering depression will recognise this. The group found this book very sad indeed but well written. For many of us our favourite piece of symbolised writing in the book was the notion of the fig tree with all the branches representing the paths you can take in life. A branch may lead you to a delicious fig but there is no knowing until you begin your journey if your path may lead to a rotten fig.
Our next book is Telling Tales by Alan Bennett and we meet on Thursday 11 December.
Withiel Book Circle – reading list
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