Title: The Stepford Wives
Author: Ira Levin
Length: 144 pages
Creepy and amazing!
The beautiful weather got me wanting to escape the confines of the office building last week, so I took one day and went over to the library. My “adventure” actually allowed me to walk away with not one, but TWO, books to give me a good amount of fiction between non-fiction titles.
The first book that I dove into was The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin. A title that I have wanted to read for quite some time — also, a movie that I have never watched, but it’s always sorta kinda been on the list “to see”. The first thing about this book that is impossible not to notice is that it’s short – there are no extra, flowery descriptions between its covers and that’s just fine with me.
For Joanna, her husband, Walter, and their children, the move to beautiful Stepford seems almost too good to be true. It is. For behind the town’s idyllic facade lies a terrible secret — a secret so shattering that no one who encounters it will ever be the same.
At once a masterpiece of psychological suspense and a savage commentary on a media-driven society that values the pursuit of youth and beauty at all costs, The Stepford Wives is a novel so frightening in its final implications that the title itself has earned a place in the American lexicon.
Paired with the Simone de Beauvoir quote preceding the tale:
Today the combat takes a different shape; instead of wishing to put a man in a prison, woman endeavors to escape from one; she no longer seeks to drag him into the realms of immanence but to emerge, herself, into the light of transcendence. Now the attitude of the males creates a new conflict: it is with a bad grace that the man lets her go.
Made me realize that the time had come for me to finally dive into this.
Despite being a quick read, the story, the characters, and the eerie events of Stepford will stick with you. It’s almost a week later and I’m still thinking about Joanna and the other towns women who seemed to once have so much spark, creativity, and will. All of that was stolen away by the men in town who would prefer to have perky, flawless, unthinking cleaning machines to come home to.
And, despite knowing what’s coming, each of the women walk straight into their complete loss of self – with some kicking, screaming, and fight – but, nonetheless, when it comes down to the end, each of them winds up going past the point of no return.
Prior to reading The Stepford Wives, I had no idea who Ira Levin was. However, now I will definitely seek out some of his other titles (including Rosemary’s Baby) and, quite probably, write about them on here.