Journal of Solitude Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Journal of Solitude

This is the second journal written by May Sarton. The previous journal covered the poet's decision to stop sharing a house with her long time lover Judith Matlack and to move into a house of her own following the death of her parents. During this period May Sarton was undergoing a very productive period in terms of her writing and reviewing and felt that she needed solitude in order to write.
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The period of the books covers dealing with the death of her parents, personal depression, the results of the ending of her physical relationship with Judy, the struggle to produce poetry and her intimate relationship with her garden. The main theme of the book is her struggle to obtain the solitude she thinks she needs in order to write and the people who come into her life during this period.

Sarton's body of work is heavy reading, but in her journals she achieves a lightness of touch that makes you want to rush to the end to see if she achieves what she wants. "Solitude" is probably one of the best known and most easily digested works by this much understudied writer.
The review of this Book prepared by Lynn Bradshaw

Chapter Analysis of Journal of Solitude

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Plot & Themes

Phys disability/mental struggle?    -   Yes Struggle with    -   midlife crisis Period of greatest activity?    -   1950+ Loss of loved one?    -   Yes Which loved one?    -   Wife/girlfriend/squeeze

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   writer Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   American


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   10 () United States    -   Yes Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee Century:    -   1960's-1970's

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   challenged Pictures/Illustrations?    -   None How much dialogue in bio?    -   little dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   76%-100% of book

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May Sarton Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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