Yesterday night I have finished reading ‘The bell jar’. At the beginning it was by chance, but then I think it has become some sort of mourning therapy to keep on reading novels in which the main character has mental health issues. I find interesting not only the topic itself but it is a research of how the authors find the words and metaphors to describe those experiences what really catches me, and so I go on on this research.
I enjoyed the book and I read it quite fast (what for me is a synonym of pleasure) even though I expected more. As Sylvia Plath is so famous and had suffered from mental health issues, I assumed that she would be experienced at describing thoughts, feelings and situations, but it is exactly what I do not like about this book. I never had the feeling of understanding or watching the process in which the main character, Esther, falls into depression. It seems that it is just there and I don’t have that conception of mental health, everything is a process, everything is a reaction or a response of something that happened or is happening, so I didn’t like the way she handled the situation. Therefore everything that happened it was just the “right thing” to happen, but as I didn’t get the process, the meanings, I found that every attempt to work out her problems, was just out of the blue, everything according to manuals and good practice, but it lacked from my point of view, the emotional perspective. It might be also that she wanted to show the lack of emotions, but again I felt I missed something, I wanted to know more.
In any case, I found it to be an interesting perspective of the 60s in United States and the idea of being a woman back then and also the way they dealt with mental health issues.
Next book (already ordered hehe ^^) Poppy Shakespeare by Clare Allan. Here is the plot: “Who is mad? Who is sane? Who decides? Welcome to the Dorothy Fish, a day hospital in North London! N has been a patient here for thirteen years. Then in walks Poppy Shakespeare in her six-inch skirt and twelve-inch heels. She is certain she isn’t mentally ill and desperate to return to her life outside. Together they plot to gain Poppy’s freedom.” Sounds good, we’ll see how it goes 🙂
Almost a year later and have read a couple of books in the middle. I find myself wanting to read more of Note of Madness so I searched for similar books. To my surprise I found out that there was a second book, the continuation of the main plot and I was like a dog with two tails so I ordered straight away and counted the days and hours for it to arrive. When it finally came, I started reading it straight away finishing my working day on Friday, and read it non stop until I finished it at Saturday midday. It had been a while since I devoured a book in less than 24 hours. I loved it!
This time, it goes deeper on the daily life, dealing with the medication and trying to have a “normal” life, the struggle, the equilibrium and the breakdown. Again, I think it has a really human approach, without judging and deepening in the psychological perspective, with thoughts, ideas, feelings, etc. So again, I totally recommend this book.
The author has some other books more popular than these as I have noticed online, but their topics are quite hard and intense so it’s not suitable for everybody. I might give Hurt a try when the price comes down, in the meanwhile I will try with “The bell jar” by Sylvia Plath. We’ll see how it goes.
That is the title of what for me was the 2014’s book. It fell on my hands by mere chance, while I was digging in the charity shops world for the first time. After reading a couple of descriptions, this book really caught me, and for a really low price, it was worth trying.
It was my first book in English since I moved to London. I have read others, but in Uruguay is not particularly easy to find diversity of titles in English. In general they are best sellers, meaning not only of doubtful interest, but also with hundreds of unnecessary pages, so it had been a while.
So far I have not dealt with mental health issues more than as a psychologist, so my perspective is particular, but I think that this book talks about it not only not being judgemental about it, but with total honesty and from a humanising point of view. You can really feel the struggle, the doubts, the crisis of the main character, and I think that is why I loved this book. I enjoyed every single page of it, wanting to keep on reading it but at the same not too fast so it wouldn’t come to an end.
I would recommend it to anyone that likes psychological novels, definitely.