Fascinating informative read giving you an understanding of her life up to before meeting Ted. Insight into her childhood life and growing up enables you to a better understand of her poetry, her inspiration and her persona. The author gives us Sylvia as a troubled soul, a high achiever, an intelligent woman, losing her father at a young age and how her mother dictated and influenced her. He describes that she was perhaps a manic depressive and that it was not recognised fully in her time, with her highs and lows but what made her work so great too or she had borderline personality disorder and striving to achieve and the fear of failure pushed her suicidal state of mind. The complications of fitting in and being a woman as well as striving to be a poet and a writer, the idea of marriage and children and the men in her lives are all described fully in this book. I watched the movie after reading this book and the film is about her life after meeting Ted and their life together leading up to her death leaving behind their two children.