Kate Moses' first novel fictionalizes the final year in the life of American poetess Sylvia Plath. The novel moves between London in the winter of 1962 - 1963, where Plath was living in W.B. Yeats' former apartment with her two small children, and the English countryside of Devon during the summer and fall of 1962, where Plath lived in an ancient rectory called Court Green with her children and her husband, the British poet Ted Hughes. Each chapter is headed with the title and date of a poem by Sylvia Plath and proceeds to describe in detail the day on which that poem was written.
The portions of the book set in Devon describe the dissolution of the Plath-Hughes marriage and the beginning of Ted's affair with Assia Wevill, the wife of another poet. The chapters set in London recount the blizzard that hit the city that winter, the frozen pipes and breaking power lines, and Sylvia's difficult relationships with her mother, her neighbors, and her former friends. Meanwhile she struggles to care for her children and make peace with her husband while writing her most famous works and battling powerful depression.
This report prepared by Jacqueline West