“A work of literary fiction.” – This is a departure from my normal reading genres; Sylvia’s Secret is neither Christian, YA, nor Speculative (sci-fi/fantasy). But I do enjoy literary fiction now and again, and the premise of this book peaked my interest.
Sylvia’s Secret is about a young woman, Cass, who is researching the poet Sylvia Plath, and the mystery surrounding her death. When Cass stumbles across one of Sylvia’s last journals, she finally has the proof she’s seeking that the poet was murdered by her husband, Ted Hughes. Cass is afraid for her life and asks her good friend and colleague, Joe Conrad, to come to London and help her solve the mystery behind the death of a dear friend before it’s too late.
I went into the book knowing little of Sylvia Plath, but I was able to keep up with the plot without a problem. Sylvia’s Secret is the third in a series of books based on the Joe Conrad character. While there were numerous references to the hero’s other adventures, Sylvia’s Secret works as a stand-alone read.
Theme/Theology: The demons of mental illness
Without giving away too much, this “psychological thriller” looks at the internal and external motivators of mental illness. The plot lines in Sylvia’s Secret are well woven and provide insight into what the poet may have experienced during the later part of her life.
Rating: PG14 (per publisher)
“Rated PG14 for some strong language, light sensuality, and adult themes.” Sylvia’s Secret deals with real life and as such contains profanity, drinking, and sensuality. The profanity is not gratuitous–meaning that it is only used when it fits the scene and coincides with intensity of emotion. The drinking and sensuality are compatible with main-stream/secular works. In other words, this is not a Christian novel.
Mental health, adultery, murder
Overall, Sylvia’s Secret is a well-written, engaging read that will keep you guessing until the end of the book.
Have you read anything by Sylvia Plath? Or, who is your favorite poet?