“If Mrs. Guinea had given me a ticket to Europe, or a round-the-world cruise, it wouldn’t have made one scrap of difference to me, because wherever I sat- on the deck of a ship or at a street cafe in Paris or Bangkok- I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air.” Chapter 15
This is an semi-autobiographical novel that packs a powerful punch. Esther is a college sudent who feels isolated from those around her and who is searching for the purpose of her life. These futile efforts lead her on a downward spiral that she can no longer control.
Esther landed a prestigious month-long job at a glamour magazine in New York City for the summer. This opportunity only seemed to fuel her insecurity. Once home she quickly fell into a depression that led her to contemplate suicide. She started seeing a psychiatrist who after two visits recommended shock therapy. She tried cutting herself with a razor blade, hanging herself with a scarf, drowning, and finally pills. The pills landed her in the hospital before being moved to a psychiatric hospital full of girls like her.
I love the emotional pull of the writing. I was drawn in, curious, entertained, and moved. I listened to the first half on cd and read the second half, and I think to appreciate the novel it must be read. I’ve heard it is being made into a movie with Julia Stiles playing the lead. Read the book first. It is only 200 pages and well worth the hours spent reading it.