First off, I don't like classics. I know, that's a sweeping statement and, perhaps, someday I'll be proven wrong. I can tolerate a few, but there aren't any classics I've read that I've really loved. Well, unless you count the Chronicles of Narnia, which I loved as a kid and are rather classics now, I suppose. Modern classics, yes, but The Bell Jar and Catcher in the Rye are considered modern classics and they are younger than the Chronicles of Narnia. I've read Catcher in the Rye, but never The Bell Jar, thought by some to be Catcher in the Rye for women. I did not like Catcher in the Rye. I was able to read it and make it through, even though it wasn't a school assignment, but like it? No, not really.
(Wait! I also really like To Kill a Mockingbird. Still, the list is short.)
Lately, I've come across The Bell Jar in a few locations physically and mentally, so I thought I'd give it a go. It won't surprise you, I think to hear that I didn't get into it. I could have really read it. It wasn't horrible, but I just didn't want to. I ended up skimming it, so I've got the gist of it. Like the publishers that first rejected it, I found it overwrought. It was just too depressing from the get go. I couldn't see slogging through all the angst.
It's not that I automatically don't like books about depression or mental illness, on the contrary, many of them are very good. I just don't think this is one. Clearly, considering it's a classic and all, I'm in the minority on this one, but there it is. I gave it a go and am moving on.