It seems fitting that I write this entry as I sit under a blanket, while out the window next to me it rains under a dark gray sky. That sky, the rain and dampness, practically embodies melancholy, or at the very least, contemplation. Some of us actually luxuriate in this mind space; we don’t brush away the doleful, we revel in it. We might recognize, however, that there is a fine line between downbeat contemplation and full blown depression.
I’m thinking about these things because I just finished a contemporary YA novel centered around Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlaina Tibensky is written in diary form by 15-year-old Keek who’s dealing with a lot of hardship, including her parents splitting up, boyfriend pressure, and a bad case of the chicken pox. Reading The Bell Jar is a transformative experience for her, serving as a compass as she contemplates her own life and personal challenges.