Monday, June 18, 2007

Review: The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Title: The Awakening
Author: Kate Chopin
Date Finished: June 17, 2007
Pages: 190
Rating: 3/5

I chose to read this book because it fulfilled my 1890s decade for the By the Decades reading challenge. Well, and it had been sitting on my shelf for quite some time. Finally, I've read a few of Chopin's short stories and really enjoyed them.

This book, however, lacked much of the color that can be found in her shorter fiction. Edna, the main character, becomes bored and restless in her marriage and decides to break convention and live her own life. Much of this occurs after meeting Robert, so it is difficult to discern whether she had always been unhappy or if the emotions were sparked by the more "free" people around her.

The book follows Edna's desires and yearnings, but the question is how independent can a woman during that time period actually be? Will she be happy? I hate to ruin an ending, so I won't.

Recommendation: The book is short and very easy to read. As you can see by my rating, I thought the book just OK. I think that Chopin's short stories show much more passion and life. The Awakening seemed a little dull to me.


Alyson said...

This book is on my list of books to read this year. After proof-reading a friend's paper on it, I was interested in giving it a shot. I'll have to remember to comment on it here after I get to it.

Trish said...

Its definitely a short read! I'll be interested in your thoughts. I always hate to give away too much info or detail on my blog for people who haven't read it yet.

Thanks for stopping by.

Bellezza said...

I have to say I was disappointed in this book. To me, it was very similar to Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina, in that the heroine dies at the loss of her love. I just felt that that particular theme had been done, and done well, already. But, it was short, and it did create atmosphere for me.

Momo said...

It starts off so good, and then, once Robert comes back, it disintegrates from a hot read about freedom and identity to some rich lady having a midlife crises.

mel u said...

I prefer her shorter fiction also-I did not find the character of Robert convincing as a love interest but some of the prose is exquisite and you felt you were in the old American south -I would say it is worth reading but try her short fiction first which you can read for free on line-