Monday, April 11, 2011

The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer (review #118)

The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer

I became intrigued with this particular title because I have always wanted to read one of her earlier novels called, The Ten Year Nap. I could tell from the subject matter of that book and this that she was a smart woman with a lot on her mind.
I can safely say this novel was nothing like I have ever read before.
Here is a brief description from the TLC Book Tour website.

When the elliptical new drama teacher at Stellar Plains High School chooses for the school play Lysistrata—the comedy by Aristophanes in which women stop having sex with men in order to end a war—a strange spell seems to be cast over the school. Or, at least, over the women. One by one throughout the high school community, perfectly healthy, normal women and teenage girls turn away from their husbands and boyfriends in the bedroom, for reasons they don’t really understand. As the women worry over their loss of passion, and the men become by turns unhappy, offended, and above all, confused, both sides are forced to look at their shared history, and at their sexual selves in a new light.

As she did to such acclaim with the New York Times bestseller The Ten-Year Nap, Wolitzer tackles an issue that has deep ramifications for women’s lives, in a way that makes it funny, riveting, and totally fresh—allowing us to see our own lives through her insightful lens.

I didn't feel a lot of emotion throughout this book. The beginning was a bit hard to get into because I couldn't quite get the mood or the flow. It was a bit difficult to figure out where it was going. It starts out with the story of Dory and Robbie Lang, a married couple and both teachers at Eleanor Roosevelt High School. Smart, fun, well liked and the first to be hit by the spell...the sexless spell, that is. Their part was okay to read. I didn't find them overly exciting unfortunately. A little too bland in their perfection.
I started to get into it when it hopped to the next person the spell took over. Leanne Bannergee, the school psychologist. She was a bit more fun to read about. She was single, fun, and attracted to many men.

The spell eventually hits several other women in this small community, including Willa, the Langs' daughter and Marissa, the lead actress in the play that causes it all.
Lysistrata- the Aristophanes comedy where women stop having sex with men in order
to stop war.

The idea behind this book is quite brilliant. The affects of not having sex really impacted the lives of these people. In some ways it seemed silly but then in others it seemed quite realistic. I had the chuckle because at this time in my life, we are trying to have a second child so a spell like this would just...let's say, screw up the mojo.
It had a charm to it that peaked my curiousity in the characters, even eventually Robbie and Dory. Like I said before, it wasn't an emotional book for me. I didn't grow to care for the characters as much as I simply wanted to know how it would play out for them all.

Rating: 4 /6
It was cleverly written and once I figured out the writing style and the flow, I was able to read it pretty quickly. It was unique and probably not the book I would recommend reading first as an introduction to her. It has that magical realism quality to it and that might not be for some.
Overall, Wolitzer is a talented writer and worthy of a recommend.

Thank you to TLC BOOK TOURS for allowing me to be a host.
Here are the other stops on the tour.

Friday, April 1st: The Literate Housewife Review

Monday, April 4th: In the Next Room

Tuesday, April 5th: I’m Booking It

Wednesday, April 6th: The 3 R’s Blog

Thursday, April 7th: A Musing Reviews

Friday, April 8th: Chick Lit Reviews

Monday, April 11th: Red Headed Book Child

Tuesday, April 12th: Regular Rumination

Wednesday, April 13th: Lit and Life

Thursday, April 14th: Bewitched Bookworms

Monday, April 18th: Rundpinne

Tuesdasy, April 19th: Nomad Reader

Wednesday, April 20th: Peeking Between the Pages

Thursday, April 21st: Acting Balanced

Monday, April 25th: Everyday I Write the Book

Tuesday, April 26th: Book Vixen

Wednesday, April 27th: Debbie’s Book Bag

Author Info:

Meg Wolitzer is the author of eight previous novels, including The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, and The Wife. Her short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize. She lives in New York City.

Connect with Meg on her Facebook page.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Audra said...

I've wanted to read Wolitzer for forever and a day and this book seemed pretty fun -- I've heard a few other reviewers comment on the sort of emotional distance between the reader and characters.

Jenny said...

It seems like other people who have read the book have the same sentiment... like they didn't love everything about it but really liked it at the same time. I have been very curious about this book so I just bought it yesterday, LOL. I think the topic is interesting. It'll give me something to talk about with my co-workers/girlfriends because ALL they want to talk about is sex, LOL. I want to read The Ten Year Nap too!!

Teresa said...

Good review, I hadn't heard of her before hearing about this book. I am interested in reading it.

LisaMM said...

Interesting review.. I hope it didn't mess with your mojo :-)

Thank you so much for being on the tour for The Uncoupling!

Misha said...

I can't seem to decide whether I want to read it or not. I am very intrigued by the premise, but there have been such mixed reactions to the book. Like you suggested, I should probably read the author's other books first.

Senator said...

Michelle, I love how you write your reviews. You make me giggle every time!

Sam (Tiny Library) said...

That's definitely an intriguing idea for a book. It's a shame it wasn't as well executed as you had hoped it would be.

Jen said...

I just posted a review of this on my blog --- I thought it was an interesting premise for the story, and seeing how the lack of sex affected everyone made for good reading. Liked reading your thoughts on it. :)

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

Note to self, don't write reviews late at night and check spelling. Robbie is actually spelled Robby. way to go, shel.

Lisa said...

I really had no idea what this book was about when I agreed to review it so I was completely surprised by the idea of a "spell." I think the whole thing really picked up momentum as it went along.

Christine said...

The cover looks like Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.
Just sayin'. ;o)

Tales of Whimsy said...

Great review darling. I'm quite curious about this one.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I do want to listen to the audio of this one; glad u liked it.