Book Review - The Uncoupling

I am pleased to be a stop on the TLC Books Tour of The Uncoupling, which was released on April 5th and is available at and other fine retailers in hardcover.

From the Publisher:
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.

My Review:

It took a little while to get into this novel, not because the writing was bad, but because the writer was working hard to set the scene so that we'd get some of the nuances later in the book.  Once I got through to almost half way, I could definitely see where the book was heading and it picked up steam.

What I liked about The Uncoupling was that it contrasted the conscious choice of the women in Lysistrata to withhold sex for a reason with the unconscious choice forced upon the modern women.  I especially liked that the author chose to show different facets of this by involving women of different ages and different relationship status, and the effect it had on the men in their world.  One of the interesting things I noticed was that no one talked about any of their issues with anyone else - each individual seemed to be dealing with their turmoil in a vacuum, which is probably telling of today's society.  This book would be a fun read in a liberal book group - if you are open to talking about sex, love and identity then I think you could definitely have some spirited discussions!

I have to say that I was a little disappointed by the ending - I had built it up more in my mind - and it came together too neatly for me - somewhat like the author had a page limit and needed to draw all of the strings together quickly and efficiently and make a nice neat bow.

About the Author:

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.

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Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book at no cost for the purpose of completing this review.  All opinions are my own.