Posted in Book Club, Book Reviews

Book Review: The Stepford Wives- Ira Levin

*****

The wives of Stepford are beautiful. They also have absolutely no interest in anything other than their housework. Joanna Eberhart has just moved in with her family and has found the lack of social activities for women strange and unacceptable. Joanna is from the city, and her feminist views make her determined to change Stepford and give the women something worthwhile to do with their time. Only when her few friends in the town start to transform into the bland cookie cutter Stepford wives does Joanna begin to investigate the Men’s Association and what they do every weeknight up in that big old house.

I really enjoyed this book. It was creepy in a fundamental way; these women has their identities stolen from them by the town. I’m very aware of spoilers (if you read the above edition of the book, DON’T read the introduction first!) so I shan’t say anything more about the actual plot of the book.

It was terrifying, but it wasn’t that scary. It was suspenseful and the ending was as inevitable as it was unexpected. And none of those things are actually opposites! The ending seemed obvious from the very start, it could go one of two ways, and so it was just a matter of whether Joanna’s personality would survive Stepford, or whether it wouldn’t. And so, it was inevitable AND unexpected!

I liked it a lot and I liked the characters too. I liked Joanna and Bobbie and Charmaine and I really enjoyed the fact that they all seemed to have moved in one month after the other so that we could see how long each of them could expect to live there without morphing into a hausfrau. I do think that there could have been a bit more about the men of Stepford, one in particular is Walter, Joanna’s husband. He seems to change his views on a lot of things when he moves to Stepford and I would have been interested to hear his side of things. But I suppose that’s where the suspense comes from, the not-knowing.

Anyway, it’s a great book and I liked it a lot. I think you’d like it if you’re into crime and suspense, and one book that it did remind me of (just a little) was The Shining by Stephen King. Not in the plot of the book, but in the suspenseful nature of it, and the inevitable and unexpected ending.

Let me know what you thought.

Have a lovely day,

Alys.

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