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Widows of Eastwick (Eastwick #2)

2.91 of 5 stars 2.91  ·  rating details  ·  1,338 ratings  ·  271 reviews
More than three decades after the events described in "The Witches of Eastwick, " Alexandra, Jane, and Sukie--widowed, aging, and with their occult powers fading--return for the summer to the Rhode Island town where they once made piquant scandal and sometimes deadly mischief. But what was then a center of license and liberation is now a "haven of wholesomeness" populated ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Penguin Books (first published 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,692)
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Marius van Blerck
This week has not been a good one for my book choices, This is the second of three false starts. I simply could not get into this book. Just too twee.
Vin
Nov 28, 2008 Vin is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I've got 50 pages to go. It's better than most of reviews it received gave it credit for ... but it's not nearly as good as "The Witches of Eastwick" - the original appearance of these 3 ladies. I am always compelled to read the "new Updike" (as I am "the new Roth"), and I've noticed in his last few novels he has developed a penchant to referencing his characters' (who are mostly aging, as he is) body odors. The widows are all three of them obsessed at times with how they smell and how they thin ...more
Mizuki
It's a solid 'What a delightful book!' 4.5 stars.

I wonder why this book only gets 2.9 stars from Goodread.

After the messy events in The Witches of Eastwick, the three witches: Alex, Jane and Sukie were more or less forced to leave town. Now 30 years later, the three women had already aged and widowed, so they decided to travel around the world and then went back to Eastwick to spend a summer there. But after going back to Eastwick, they soon realized after so many years, not everyone in the sma
...more
Kathy
I first read the Witches of Eastwick back in the year 1984. This is the follow up book to that. The 3 witches EVENTUALLY get back together and travel to Eastwick for the summer.

The witches are Jane (serious, mean, cello player who marries into a rich New England Nathaniel Hawthorne sort of family), Sukie (an attractive redhead who worked for the town paper and was into the town business in more ways than one) and the third I can't recall, but she is the fat pretty brunette who neglects her kids
...more
Tony
Updike, John. THE WIDOWS OF EASTWICK. (2008). ****. Back in 1984, Updike published “The Witches of Eastwick,” the story of three women who lived in a small town in Rhode Island who got together and discovered they had “witchy” powers. That was twenty-six years ago. Now, all three, Alexandra, Jane, and Sukie, have left town, married (some several times), and are now widows. They have each faced widowhood in their own ways. Alexandra, who is now living in New Mexico, decided to travel. Off she wen ...more
Katrina
The Witches of Eastwick was one of my favorite guilty pleasures of the eighties, but this years-removed sequel just doesn't measure up. The Widows, now thirty years older, attempt to reunite beneath the cone of power they had used to upend Eastwick in their youth, but it just never comes together for me. At times the writing is great, especially as the widows tour the world together, but at other times it drags. Maybe witchcraft is best left in the hands of the young.
Leona Olson


From amazon.com:
Book Description
Publication Date: October 14, 2008
More than three decades after the events described in The Witches of Eastwick, Alexandra, Jane, and Sukie—widowed, aging, and with their occult powers fading—return for the summer to the Rhode Island town where they once made piquant scandal and sometimes deadly mischief. But what was then a center of license and liberation is now a “haven of wholesomeness” populated by hockey moms and househusbands primly rebelling against their
...more
Fred
OK, it's not as brilliant and tight as the first book, but I take exception to all the rather tiresome reviews going on and on about what a sexist Updike was, how much he loathed women, etc. - bullshit: he was a gimlet-eyed misanthrope, but not particularly meanspirited about it: EVERYone gets skewered at some level, but most everyone also has well-sketched human qualities. The characters seema as real and well-limned as ever - the man was a keen observer of human motivation and interior life as ...more
melissa
First of all let me say, I never read the first book, although I did see the movie. This book is nothing like the movie, but then again, I have heard the first book is nothing like the movie either. In my mind, I kept seeing the actresses (Cher, Susan Serandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer.) As much as I enjoyed the writing, it took a while to get into, as it sometimes had long sentences, and even longer paragraphs. Once I picked up the flow, it wasn’t too bad. I found it to be well researched, but som ...more
Caitlin
This is really a 3.75, but I like Updike enough to give him the full 4 stars. I read this in about 2 days (while I should have been studying.)

I think _Widows_ illustrates some of what is so compelling--and so dirty--about Updike. To a younger reader, there's a certain horror in learning how little the widows care for their children, how disposable their husbands were, and how attached they are to both husbands and children nonetheless. Is this what aging is like?

There's a wonderful olfactory qua
...more
Stephen
The witches of Eastwick thirty years later, now widowed, on the other side of second marriages, far away from sex and witchery, reunite first in world travel and then back in Eastwick itself. Once in Eastwick, they discover that certain echoes from their earlier mischief live on and eventually entice them to return to witchcraft and, in Sukie's case, sex. But somehow this book never quite rang true to me. Much of the travelogue was well-written but seemed here to be filler (gotta get 300 pages!) ...more
Ted
Feb 20, 2010 Ted rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Updike fans, Eastwick fans
Having read the first book (and seen the movie), I'm disappointed in this sequel. Putting aside my feelings on the characters and their adventures in the first novel, this book on its own has a very weak "plot" and a poor structure.

Once upon a time, Alex, Jane and Sukie were best friends living in a small town in Rhode Island, dabbling both in sorcery and seduction of their neighbours. Thirty years on, they have gone their separate ways, found love and subsequently lost it, which leads to their
...more
Alice Osborn
The Widows of Eastwick is John Updike's last published book (he died January 27th, 2009 of lung cancer)and just because it was his last book, that in itself is worth the read. I love Updike's short story, "A&P" but haven't had the pleaure of reading any of his novels -- "Widows" was my first foray into Updikeland. I enjoyed his tangents about aging, loss and decreptitude. These are all surely issues that were on his mind as he was sick with lung cancer. The book, however, is mostly a self-in ...more
Mia
Just re-read Witches and was excited to keep it going with Widows, but no. Updike's writing drags in a lot of places and honestly this book felt like an old man's fist-shaking "get those kids off my lawn" diatribe but filtered through familiar characters. The theme of getting older and losing your sense of the world is valid but the writing is so slow and whiny that it's hard to get into it.

Besides the slow pace, the extra babbling descriptors make the conversation so stilted that there have to
...more
David
So when I clicked the "read" option to bookshelf this poor excuse of a novel, I ending up wishing there was an option saying, "I gave up on this piece of shit nearly 95 pages into it because it was an even MORE watered-down version of Updike's alleged 'feminism' found in The Witches of Eastwick."

I wanted to give this guy the benefit of the doubt, hoping that perhaps after 25 years he might have evolved past the Silent Generation's warped social views, and maybe even better redeemed the horrible
...more
Hank Mishkoff
This is like two books in one.

In the first half of the book, nothing happens, it's all character re-development using the device of a series of travelogues. It's like reading "What I Did on My Last Three Summer Vacations," by John Updike. Elegantly written, as you'd expect, but no action whatsoever.

The second half of the book is completely different, as the widows return to Eastwick, only to learn how much it, and they, have changed. But traces of witchiness remain, and even as benign as Eastwic
...more
Susan
This story was interesting enough, but not quite a good as Witches of Eastwick. The beginning rambled on about foreign trips some of the witches took alone, and with each other. It was quite a wait till we got to Eastwick again.

It was nice to have them reunited in town and shown all the changes that happened over the years but there wasn't much magic, unlike the previous book.

However, all this being said, I really enjoyed the story. The personalities of all the women were all quite different,
...more
Chris
This book was not very good at all and reminded me of why I never read more than one of his other books. It didn't seem like he had much to say so he had to fill in with a travelogue, physics lessons, gratuitous sex, and even a pathetic bodice ripper. It gets my goat when men presume to write from the perspective of women (a notable exception being the author of The Last Living Confederate War Widow Tells All). He did not hit the right notes to make the characters come alive and I didn't like an ...more
Jocardo
I had to relegate this book to the dark, Pit of Despair. Reading Updike is hard. Sentences go on for pages, thoughts could last entire volumes. I know he was one of the Great American Writers. I don't dispute that. I just didn't like this book. The first one was okay, and I forged through. But I've decided that life is too short for bad fiction and now I am not feeling so badly about not finishing books. The POD is getting bigger all the time!
Robert Thacker
Updike's last novel and a must read for me for that reason. Some good observations on aging, marriage, and being a parent to adult children. The book is not as dense or intense as the first installment and except for some imbedded physics lessons, this is an easy, often funny, read. The Widows do lots of looking back while they try to keep moving forward. And will they revive their witchcraft? Yes, they will.
Jo
Updike revisits his heroines from The Witches of Eastwick bringing them 30 years into the present. It took me about 100 pages to get into this book but even then it was still only okay. I doubt I'll read anything else by this author
Margie
Enjoyable, and although I appreciated the perspective on aging, it rang a bit false. Perhaps I'm just disgruntled because he makes the female aging process sound so depressing.
Dee
Beautifully written but very hollow follow up to Witches of Eastwick. Updike has no real grasp of how women actually think and what they might feel: he is a product of his generation. I cut him slack in my 20s- two decades later I find I have no patience for his interpretation of how these women behave. In the first book, very little was made of the witchcraft: it just was. Tacit acknowledgement of magic in this latest book takes something away from the story, IMHO. And the subplot, sci-fi, no l ...more
Nancy Degrauwe
Having read past novels of Updike, I was prepared for the long detailed descriptive sentences he presents on each page. He is most thorough in developing characters and settings, which quickly pulls the reader into the story. This made it easier for me to relate to the characters, as I had read The Witches of Eastwick and had seen the movie. Like me, the witches have aged, and are now as old as me, experiencing similar health problems as me. It was somewhat depressing discovering that even witch ...more
Suzanne Moore
I "read" this twice ... actually as a last resort audio-book. My second listen came a couple of years after the first listen, because I couldn't remember if I liked it or not. I never read the first book, The Witches of Eastwick, but I did watch the movie because of Jack Nicholson being in it. I vaguely remember the movie, as it was years ago and after reading reviews on the first book, it appears the movie and the book are very different. Anyway this book is a follow-up, thirty years later and ...more
Rosemary Ceravolo
Updike's acerbic wit is off and running in "The Widows of
Eastwick." I can easily conjure up the film sequel to his
1984, "The Witches of Eastwick," with Kathy Bates as
Alexandra, Meryl Streep as Sukie, and Lily Tomlin as Jane.

That said, "The Widows" are geriatric has-beens of their
former selves thirty years ago. Updike, who is now 76,
may be impatiently damning and mocking the entire
American way of life, with its superficialities, its
sanitized, tour-guided sense of global history without
any compr
...more
Sam
Okay, so I haven’t read the Witches yet but I’ve seen the film a few times and have even seen the stage show with Marti Pellow as Darryl Van Horne so I know enough to be able to enjoy the sequel (theoretically). However this book was a bit of a disappointment. The three witches (now widows) seem to have lost all their pizzazz, which I expected them to still have a bit of, despite their ages. Granted they have been struggling to live with ‘guilt’ of what they did in Eastwick all those years ago b ...more
Robert
The Widows of Eastwick, one of John Updike’s last books, follows an earlier novel, The Witches of Eastwick. In the sequel, three elderly women, Alexandra, Jane and Sukie decide to go back to the scene of their witchery, Eastwick, Rhode Island, and perhaps perform some white magic, as opposed to the black arts they engaged in long ago.
The idea is that by following old practices, chanting the right chants, focusing the right energies, and holding the right beliefs, a group of women can generate
...more
Roger Bailey
This book is a sequel to another book that I have not read. I see that most of the other reviewers like the first book a lot better. I certainly hope it was better. I found this one kind of boring. Here is what I got out of it. There are three old women who hang out with each other and engage in small talk with each other and that is about it. They also happen to be witches and they do have magical powers, but it is as if the fact of their magical powers is only background information. They do n ...more
Mike Aragona
Firstly, I must admit that I've never had an author pass on while I was reading their last book. That alone was bizarre. However, that aside, I wish this book would have been worth the trouble of reading it.[return][return]The first part felt more like a travelogue than anything else, and then it took forever to get anywhere. I'm sorry, but having to read almost 200 pages before anything really happens? That's just too slow a pace.[return][return]No, I never read Witches of Eastwick. All I remem ...more
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John Hoyer Updike (born March 18, 1932 in Shillington, Pennsylvania) was an American writer. Updike's most famous work is his Rabbit series (Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit Is Rich; Rabbit At Rest; and Rabbit Remembered). Rabbit is Rich and Rabbit at Rest both won Pulitzer Prizes for Updike. Describing his subject as "the American small town, Protestant middle class," Updike is well known for hi ...more
More about John Updike...
Rabbit, Run (Rabbit Angstrom, #1) Rabbit at Rest (Rabbit Angstrom, #4) Rabbit Is Rich (Rabbit Angstrom, #3) Rabbit Redux (Rabbit Angstrom, #2) The Witches of Eastwick (Eastwick, #1)

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