The Stepford Wives was perfectly timely, as it was written in the 1970’s when woman were entrenched in the whole housewife versus women’s lib issue (not that that’s ever stopped being an issue). The novel is a satire, in that that it takes a concept (men wanting their wives to be obedient, house-cleaning Barbie dolls), and illustrates its ridiculousness by taking it way over the top (at least that’s how I took it-I’m not an English teacher so don’t quote me on that!). Levin’s skill in moving a plot along is unparalleled-no word is wasted and no extraneous detail is provided. He accomplishes in 100 pages what other authors spend 400 and 500 pages trying to achieve -a novel you cannot put down, one that makes you think and keeps you up all night in suspense.
I may be the only person this is news to, but did you know that The Stepford Wives, (aside from being a spectacularly bad 2004 movie with Nicole Kidman) was actually a book first? It was written by Ira Levin, the genius behind Rosemary’s Baby (also a book before the film based on it became a cult classic).
And seriously, how cool must it be to write a novel and have the title become a phrase in the English vocabulary (referring to subservient, obedient types)? I mean, that’s a rather impressive feat.