Liza's Reviews > Women in Love

Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence
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Mar 05, 08

Recommended for: thinkers, feelers
Read in March, 2008

It is seemingly impossible to summarize a book such as Women in Love. The book innocuously begins with sisters Gudrun and Ursula Brangwen discussing marriage. Gudrun is an artist and Ursula is a school teacher, and their middle-class status is key in their ostracism from the high-society to which their lovers Gerald—the industrialist—and Rupert—the disillusioned intellectual. Although these relationships would seem to be key, the complex relationship between Rupert—modeled after author D.H. Lawrence—and Gerald is really the crux of the novel.

Further summarization seems impossible, because this novel seems to be not so much a novel, but rather a vehicle for Lawrence to espouse his philosophies through the character of Birkin. Birkin rants and raves about everything from the nature of love and marriage to the overly structured education system, the cruelty of labor (Lawrence's father was a coal miner) and the structure of the English empire. Although there are many remarkable scenes of dialogue, these are interrupted by philosophical musings, and the two strands do not blend together well. Reading this book is arduous, and it is a novel that operates on so many different levels that it would be best discussed rather than read solitarily.

Readers may be shocked by the overwhelming misogyny and Eurocentrism of much of the novel—aspects that do not translate time. Lawrence explores sexuality in a way that is often disparaging to women while equating men with Adonis. A provocative novel, that I love/hate, this read will make you want to know more about Lawrence (which may be key to understanding his motivations) and hopefully read some of his other work.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Erin (new)

Erin Let me know how this is...I bought it once but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet.


Liza Will do. I think we need to add some D.H. spice to our book club.


Cassie You said it well: it IS "arduous" :p

I'm over half way sloshing through his writing and am finding it difficult to focus on the beautiful for the rantings hitting me in the face every other page....

Definitely finding some goose-bump inducing passages, that leave me breathless for their beauty and truth.


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