The Awakening by Kate Chopin

It’s not that Edna Pontellier reads like a modern woman in an old world, but that she was written in her own time. A few others this is true of are Madame Bovary and Elizabeth Bennett.

As is  suggested by the title, events transpire to awake Mrs. Pontellier to certain ideas about the world that were hidden before. As a novel, it sets the stage for a modern reader (particularly of the feminist variety) to feel what life was like for a certain class of woman just before The Feminine Mystique. Despite that it has that feel about it that may suggest mid-twentieth century America, it was actually written in 1899. Don’t get me wrong, there are indicators of it’s timeframe, but it could be easily mistaken for the other as well.

My favorite part was the point when she is asked about the house she shares with her husband and she simply says that none of it is hers.  I can’t imagine feeling that way in my home.

I didn’t grow up knowing about many books from other eras that focus on regular women’s lives. They are out there, this is one of them. I should make a list of the one’s I’ve read sometime…..

Until I get a chance to compile that, just know that this is one of them. It’s a good read and one that helps us understand the cloud that we can live under before realizing that we haven’t really lived sometimes.

Next up is Rachel Swaby’s Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World, get it at your local library or my astore!

 

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