Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
The Widows of Eastwick: A Novel Paperback – June 2, 2009
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Motivated by advancing age, loneliness, latent guilt and a sense of unfinished business, the erstwhile Witches of Eastwick return to their former Rhode Island coastal town in this tepid sequel to the 1984 novel. Alexandra, the fleshy Earth Mother; Jane, the wasp-tongued snob; and Sukie, a would-be a sexpot operating beyond her expiration date, have each survived the second marriages that took place following their flight from Eastwick in the early '70s, after a rival, Jenny Gabriel, died as a result of their spell. Where before they were strong, sassy, lusty and empowered, now in late middle-age they are vulnerable, fearful and in thrall to their aging bodies. Witchcraft is now beyond them; when they try to resurrect their supernatural powers to atone for their guilt, an inadvertent death ensues. While Updike remains amazingly capable of capturing women's thoughts about their bodies and their sex lives, the plot never gains momentum; the first hundred pages, in fact, are tedious travelogues covering the widows' travels to Egypt and China. Updike's observations about culture and social disharmony flash with their customary brilliance—a less than sparkling Updike novel is still an Updike novel. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
From Bookmarks Magazine
If it weren't for the popular film version (1987), it's not certain that The Witches of Eastwick—playful rather than powerful like the Rabbit novels and accused by some of misogynist leanings—would have remained as popular as it did. Yet, despite lukewarm reviews, those who enjoyed that first novel may find something to like in this sequel. Widows resurrects the fun of the original, and Updike is, as usual, a master stylist with sharp, sensual writing. Some critics, however, were thrown off by the contrived premise, the initial aimless travelogue, and the sappy subplots. A few even suggested that Updike doesn't adequately understand women's aging, though the New York Times argued that the witches are most compellingly understood as ordinary women. In sum, Widows is a mixed bag, best enjoyed by readers curious to see where Updike's brand of feminism has landed him 25 years later.
Copyright 2008 Bookmarks Publishing LLC --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
One thing that struck me was the similarity to Act II of Into the Woods, the Broadway musical that entwines the stories of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Jack and the Beanstalk. Similar to the characters in Act I of that musical, Sukie, Jane, and Alexandra spent The Witches of Eastwick using their powers to get what they want, with a few bumps along the way. Here, as in Act II of Woods, they learn that actions have consequences, and that one cannot do indiscriminate harm to others and not expect to pay for it later. And like the characters of Into the Woods, not all of them survive the lessoning.
Before that, unfortunately, we are "treated" to an increasingly-tedious section of Jane and Alexandra traveling together that could easily be much shorter than it is. It doesn't really tell us anything we didn't already know (well, not about Jane and Alexandra, anyway), and the writing by today's standards is almost impossibly thick. More successful are Alex's scenes with her oldest daughter Marcy and Marcy's children, where Alex has to come to terms with her shortcomings as a mother and deal with her now expanded family as people rather than as chores.
If the latter two sections (the book is presented in three parts, like its predecessor) have a weakness, it's that the central conflict seems to be resolved far too quickly and easily--but given that it leads into a new potential conflict that is not resolved (as in most good fiction, the reader has to make their own decision here), I'm willing to forgive it.
Updike knows his characters well enough that Alex, Jane and Sukie are the same women they were in the first book. All the other little details from "Witches" - the description of the towns, the women's past lives, the other families in Eastwick - are intact. Therefore, if you read the two books back to back as I did, you'll see a wonderful continuity that makes "Widows" seem more like a planned continuation rather than that cursed word "sequel" and all the disappointments it conjures.
There is still some of the magic of the original book, but this time out we get a sobering look at the art of growing older and watching the world change around you. Alex, Sukie and Jane look at a world where strip malls and sprawl have replaced the Nature they once knew. They lament the death of sin in an "anything goes" culture as well as their role in a world of true dangers. Plus, they have never gotten over their guilt regarding the death of Jenny Gabriel, more than thirty years earlier. A summer spent in Eastwick gives the women an opportunity to not only reconnect, but face the lingering shadows of their dalliance with dark magic.
I enjoyed this book quite a bit; Updike's powers have not deserted him. I wasn't thrilled that Updike's characters still refer to gay men as "fags" and "fairies." It was much more believable that the women would have thought that way in the late 60s but considering the societal changes and the fact that Alex is an Earth mother type and lives among artistic people, much harder to fathom. Perhaps Updike is still stuck in those pre-Stonewall modes of thinking, but I'd like to think some positive things in society, to counterbalance man's obsessive need to build over Nature, would have occurred in the character's lives.
Most recent customer reviews
Publication Date: October 14, 2008
More than three decades after the events described in The Witches of Eastwick, Alexandra, Jane,...Read more