A good book. The book explores both feminist themes and mental illness. The book is set in the 1950's and because that was a transitional decade in male-female relations, it is not as interesting there as in the later half of the book where the main character starts interacting with the psychiatric community.
The stultifying and controlling atmosphere around women and sex dominates the first half of the book, but the 1950's were really a peculiar decade in how people interacted torn between prewar modes of behaviour and the sexual revolution and modern women's rights movement. As such, this part of the book is only OK, and the male characters are treated like aliens from another planet.
The most interesting part is watching the main character descend into depression and suicidal ideation. This seemed to me to be right on the money and informative.
Watching the main character self destruct amidst a society that does not understand her is powerfully done.
The prose is good and Plath has a unique, frank and informal voice that is readable and memorable.