Years ago (back in my pre-motherhood days), if you asked me my favorite book, I would have said THE BELL JAR by Sylvia Plath. She’s dark and disturbed, and the work of fiction is largely autobiographical. While I did not identify with her depression, I did identify with her radical (in her day) view of the chains of motherhood. It was not what I wanted for myself. In fact, if I had lived in a day when birth control was scandalous, I probably would have become depressed as a young woman in my twenties faced with only one option (well, two, if you include becoming a celibate nun.) I did still enjoy the book, and it was interesting for me to read it knowing at one point in my life it had spoken to me so strongly.
To be honest, in my memory, I think I combined The Bell Jar with other works (maybe The Awakening or To the Lighthouse…or something else…not sure) because in my memory, I added an ending where Esther did end up miserable, married with children. I was wondering how I’d interpret that now that I am a mother, but it seems it is an ending I wrote in my own mind. I do need to figure out what I’m confusing it with so I can re-read it, too.