Following the arduous task of writing my dissertation and finishing University this year, I was looking forward to nothing more than curling up with a good book or two (or three, or four…)
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Look, I KNOW. The Bell Jar is a classic, and I should have read it sooner. If you even know me slightly you’d be mistaken for thinking that I had. I’m the first to admit that I can be a little awkward, and in a lot of ways, I related to Ester. Upon this revelation, I had to physically put the book down on numerous occassions. Plath captures the intricate details of a changing mind brilliantly. Her ability to portray Ester’s continuous demise as well as her re-entrance into ‘society’ is the nearest thing to the truth I have ever read surrounding the issue of mental institutions. It doesn’t preach or poach. It is as honest as a semi-autobiographical novel can be without pushing the reader over the line.
Little Bird by Camilla Way
My housemate hounded me for several weeks before I got around to reading Little Bird. The story, told from several points of character view, follows the life of a kidnapped feral girl. With relationship twists, suicide, death and prostitution thrown in the mix, you’d be forgiven if your initial thought was “this all sounds a little far fetched.” Give it a chance. The writing is snappy and the story will keep you hooked from feral child to grown woman.
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
After hours of browsing bookstores, I would inevitably walk past this novel and wonder when I was going to find time to read it. After being on my personal list of “things I have to read” for quite a while (as well as being on other, less important lists like “best sellers”) I decided it had to be read now; not least of all because I had heard rumour of an adaptation. Sebold creates a family and community to immerse yourself in and covers tragedy in such a beautiful and detailed way. Anybody who loved The Time Traveler’s Wife is bound to enjoy it.