PurplyCookie's Reviews > The Stepford Wives

The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
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's review
Apr 24, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: thriller-novel, movie-tv-tie-in
Read in September, 2008

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.

It is interesting to watch the world unfold from the point of view of the main character, Joanna Eberhart, and to see it as a mirror image of our society. After a few chapters you start to wonder if you are seeing the town as it is or as Joanna sees it. Is her reality cracking or is she really in danger? Is this science gone crazy? Is this culture sucking in the new comers and changing them? Or is this the beautiful American dream, the final goal of having a ideal family, the stable and stale happiness that all people wish for?

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.

It's hard to tell if this is a stab at the feminist movement or simply a male fantasy, but it's a fun read and will keep you turning the pages. This is a thought provoking, tautly written novella. A gem of suspense, it was first published in the early 1970s and went on to become a popular movie of the same name, starring Katherine Ross and later on of course starring Nicole Kidman.

Book Details:

Title The Stepford Wives
Author Ira Levin and Peter Straub
Reviewed By Purplycookie
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