Friday, July 1, 2011

The Stepford Wives-by Ira Levin

You can't have a perfect town, if it doesn't have a library, and perfect Stepford has one. It is mentioned over a dozen times in this slim novel. The children go on outings there, and newcomer Joanna Eberhardt uses it as a subject of some of her photographs. Joanna also understands it is the place to go to look up information. In the days before the internet you could find out which government agency might have the authority to find out if there was something poisoning the air or water of your town, and get its address. But more importantly it is where Joanna finds all the back issues of the town newspaper and reads the "Notes on Newcomers" pages to find out where all of her neighbors had lived and worked before coming to Stepford. In the dimly-lit cellar where the archives are held, she makes all the right connections in determining that the wives in Stepford are turned, literally, into cleaning machines by the Men's Association.

There is a librarian in this book, Miss Asturian. We can gather from her title that she is unmarried. She is also described as "plump," and as I was reading I assumed these things meant she was not a robot, but now I'm not sure. She certainly seemed oblivious, and was overly concerned with things being put back in proper order, and making sure the lights weren't left on. There was no orgasmic "OMG" when she learns that a popular children's author is the new patron she is helping. A real librarian would have been beside herself. I guess it would make sense that the men would turn the single women into robots, too. Wouldn't want anyone to let the cat out of the bag.

1 comment:

  1. An enjoyable read The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and original, this book is going in by "to read" list.