Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

The Awakening is the story of a bored society woman, Edna Pontellier, who neglects her husband and children after falling in love with another man. I didn’t hate this book, but I didn’t enjoy it. Reading it seemed to steep me in the same sort of ennui that Edna feels. The plot moves slowly, without much being accomplished.

I read this book for our Classic Literature book club, but I didn’t find much of literary value within its pages. The main character is selfish and unlikeable, but not enough that the reader feels strongly about her. I don’t mind selfish and unlikeable characters—I loved reading about Catherine in Wuthering Heights, for example, but the main character in The Awakening wasn’t sufficiently developed to inspire strong feelings about her, either good or bad. I came away from it with the impression that the reader is intended to somehow feel sorry for her, but I couldn’t muster up enough interest in her meaningless life to care what happens to her in the final pages. Sorry for the negative review (and the brevity of it--I'm trying to get ready for vacation), but this one gets two thumbs down.


Amanda said...

Wow Jen! I actually really, really like this book, and i found tons of literary stuff in it. I read it about a year ago and need to re-read it for our group. I do know people who hate this book, and those who love it. I wonder if it's one of those love-it-or-hate-it sorts of books.

Anonymous said...

Could be. I'm interested to hear your take on it at book club.