K's Reviews > The Life and Loves of a She Devil

The Life and Loves of a She Devil by Fay Weldon
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's review
Jun 21, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: humorous-or-trying-to-be
Recommended to K by: A goodreads reviewer who also hated "The Good Wife"
Recommended for: Those who love a diabolical, if imperfect, revenge-of-the-underdog story

This is the story of Ruth, a large, clumsy, ugly woman, married to unappreciative and philandering Bobbo and living as a suburban housewife. When Bobbo leaves Ruth for his mistress, Mary Fisher, a delicate-looking and wealthy writer of romance novels, Ruth begins her transformation from docile, long-suffering hausfrau to diabolical and courageous "she-devil," stopping at nothing to get her elaborately plotted revenge on her husband's mistress and to eventually take over her life.

Initially, Ruth's exploits and creative evil doings are really funny, and Faye Weldon's clever writing style enhances the effect. Nice girls like me can really appreciate the vicarious thrills of reading about an underdog getting her revenge on those who've wronged her. Somehow, Ruth manages to invade Bobbo and Mary's love nest with Ruth's two bratty children and Mary's demanding aging mother, frame Bobbo for fraud, and get Mary to stop writing romance novels.

After a while, though, the plot gets repetitive as Ruth uses yet another alias to obtain yet another caretaker position in some unsuspecting household, form a relationship (often sexual) with her employer, and then abruptly leave once her latest revenge goal has been achieved. And then, the whole plastic surgery thing irritated me and was, aside from being a cliche for this type of story, a betrayal of Weldon's feminist ideals in my opinion. Why couldn't she simply find happiness and fulfillment as an ugly woman, or learn to feel better about the looks she had?

Luckily, it was a fast and easy read and clever enough to earn 3 stars despite my other complaints.
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Reading Progress

06/21/2009 page 66
06/21/2009 page 108
42.19% "Heh heh heh...Ruth, you are so EVIL! Tee hee hee..."
09/28/2016 marked as: read

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