The Uncoupling: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Ten-Year Nap, a funny, provocative, revealing novel about female desire.

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 ...
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The Uncoupling: A Novel

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Overview

From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Ten-Year Nap, a funny, provocative, revealing novel about female desire.

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.

Read an essay about writing The Uncoupling from the author, Meg Wolitzer.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Ron Charles
The drama teacher tells her students that Lysistrata is "a comedy, yes. But what it's about is something quite serious," and the same thing might be said about The Uncoupling. In the light patter of her novel, Wolitzer diagnoses the troubles that ruin so many marriages, break up so many families…Wolitzer is a tender, engaging narrator.
—The Washington Post
Jincy Willett
Although The Uncoupling is enchanting from start to finish, that owes less to the spell than it does to the way Wolitzer liberally and inventively populates her storytelling. When writers turn to the supernatural, their characters often suffer, losing dimension and I.Q. points as their creators bat them around. But Wolitzer has too much respect for her craft to let this happen. Her characters would be engaging even without that cold, intrusive wind…Thoughtful and touching, The Uncoupling is also very funny.
—The New York Times
Entertainment Weekly
Wolitzer writes with barbed insight.
USA Today
Meg Wolitzer has a knack for inviting readers into the bedrooms of her protagonists and then slyly but oh so tastefully reminding readers that their (sex) lives are not so different from those of her fictional couples.
More
Lifting the veil on intimacy that has ‘caved in and collapsed,' Wolitzer has written a novel that may tempt you to muse on the ups and downs of your own erotic life.
People
Stunningly insightful, characteristically hilarious.(four stars)
The Wall Street Journal
A sage exploration of the role of sex in both sustaining and wrecking relationships.
San Francisco Chronicle
Meg Wolitzer deserves to be a household name.
The New York Times Book Review
Enchanting from start to finish…Thoughtful and touching, The Uncoupling is also very funny.
ABC News
Superbly written, wry yet compassionate, Meg Wolitzer's The Uncoupling is uncommonly good.
San Francisco Review
"The Uncoupling" is a smooth and often enchanting read that reveals a wry understanding of modern relationships and generations. Wolitzer's teens are all obsessed with the virtual world "Farrest" (Marissa's avatar is a soaring hawk) while their parents wonder why, if the kids wanted "a real forest spelled the normal way" they don't just take a picnic lunch to the nearby nature preserve. You feel like you know these people, this community, these anxious 40-somethings watching the flushed-faced teens. For the young ones, Dory ponders, there's still something brand-new ahead — "the love that lay waiting like a web page as yet undesigned, or maybe even like a forest as yet unwalked in."--(Moira Macdonald)
bookpage.com
Wolitzer—perhaps best known for her novel The Ten Year Nap—masterfully charts the peaks and falls of desire that naturally come with age. Brutally honest, and incredibly surreal, Wolitzer is able to perfectly tap into the female psyche by displaying to male and female readers alike what actually happens when the lights go off and the covers are turned down.--(Megan Fishmann)
From the Publisher
"Lifting the veil on intimacy that has 'caved in and collapsed,' Wolitzer has written a novel that may tempt you to muse on the ups and downs of your own erotic life."—More 

"Wolitzer is a tender, engaging narrator. . . . This is the suburban comedy of Tom Perrotta in a flannel nightgown. The Uncoupling provides the charm of recognizing your own nervous tics and anxieties laid out by an author who's not out to get you."—The Washington Post 

"In The Uncoupling, bestselling author Meg Wolitzer sets up a twenty- first century parable that blends the supernatural with the decidedly real. . . . The Uncoupling is a fast, fun read, and like all off-kilter thought experiments, it asks us to reexamine the experiences we accept unthinkingly as well as the very language we use to describe them. Desire is enchanting, but its sudden absence can feel like a curse."—NPR 

"With her humorous voice, ecstatic prose, and unique historical backdrop, Wolitzer sheds light on the changing nature of female sexuality over time."—Daily Beast 

"In Meg Wolitzer's superb new book, The Uncoupling a new drama teacher shows up in a small town and stages "Lysistrata," the ancient Greek play in which women decide to ditch their fellas until they put an end to the Peloponnesian War. The play casts a spell on the town, and soon husbands and boyfriends are out of luck."—The Atlanta-Journal Constitution 

"Wolitzer's novel is funny and keenly observant. She uses the fantastic to externalize internal states that admit no easy description."—Santa Cruz Weekly 

"Meg Wolitzer has a knack for inviting readers into the bedrooms of her protagonists and then slyly but oh so tastefully reminding readers that their (sex) lives are not so different from those of her fictional couples. . . . Wolitzer's talent is in her ability to use the sex strike to examine what makes marriages strong and what makes and break them, and it's not always about the sex."—USA Today 

"At this point in her career, Meg Wolitzer deserves to be a household name. Every few years she turns out a sparkling novel that manages to bring the shine back to big, tarnished issues of gender politics, such as women's pull between work and family, or the role of sexuality in family dynamics."—San Francisco Chronicle 

"Imagine that a high-school play could cast a spell, transforming not just its cast but also the faculty members around it, mysteriously changing their lives. Such is the irresistible premise of Meg Wolitzer's ninth novel, The Uncoupling, in which a suburban New Jersey community is altered by a production of Lysistrata . . . . The Uncoupling is a smooth and often enchanting read that reveals a wry understanding of modern relationships and generations."—The Seattle Times 

"A funny, disarming fable...comic, compelling and circles very close to home."—The Portland Oregonian 

"[Wolitzer] masterfully charts the peaks and falls of desire that naturally come with age. Brutally honest, and incredibly surreal, Wolitzer is able to perfectly tap into the female psyche by displaying to male and female readers alike what actually happens when the lights go off and the covers are turned down."—Bookpage 

"Superbly written, wry yet compassionate, Meg Wolitzer's The Uncoupling is uncommonly good. . . . The real pull of The Uncoupling is the breadth and depth of female emotion and sexual expression, dazzlingly rendered in Wolitzer's crisp prose."—ABC News 

"A sage exploration of the role of sex in both sustaining and wrecking relationships. . . . Ours is an age when grown-ups read novels intended for teenagers, The Uncoupling is a book written for grown-ups that teenagers would do well to consult."—The Wall Street Journal 

"Wolitzer writes with barbed insight."—Entertainment Weekly 

"The Uncoupling is enchanting from start to finish. . . . Thoughtful and touching, The Uncoupling is also very funny."—The New York Times Book Review 

"[Wolitzer's] wittiest and most incisive work yet, she delivers a modern version of the ancient Lysistrata story. . . . Stunningly insightful, characteristically hilarious, Wolitzer's latest holds a mirror up to modern America, offering a shock of recognition amid the laughter."—People (four stars) 

"What's great about Wolitzer is that she's neither too flip nor too serious about sex; The Uncoupling is hilarious, but the stakes are deeply felt- perhaps because the world of Stellar Plains is so vividly realized. . . . Wolitzer robs her characters of sex in order to explore what an essential, messy, needful role it plays in our lives."—Bust 

"Wolitzer's sprightly novel is a warm, hopeful corrective to the half-baked messages women receive about monogamous desire."—Whole Living 

"Women in a New Jersey community inexplicable stop having sex with their men in this sly homage to the Aristophanes classic Lysistrata."—O, The Oprah Magazine 

"In The Uncoupling stealth feminist Meg Wolitzer expertly teases out the socio-sexual power dynamics between men and women."—Vanity Fair 

"While zestfully exploring the nexus between complacency and desire, Wolitzer's hip, glib, impish scenario shrewdly examines the intricate connections between war and sex and perceptively illuminates the power of timeless literature."—Booklist (starred) 

"Wolitzer's new novel, after The Ten-Year Nap and The Position, is another well-written and engrossing tale. And this one is definitely more of a tale than a story. In the town of Stellar Plains, NJ, a new, bohemian drama teacher arrives at the local high school. She selects as the school play Lysistrata, Aristophanes' comedy in which the women decide to stop having sex with their men to convince them to stop fighting in a war. As the actors rehearse, a cool wind of a spell passes through the women of Stellar Plains. It touches other teachers and students alike. The chill makes the women want to abstain from sex. So what happens when an entire town of women start to push away their men for no apparent reason? Otherwise happy couples break up. The novel flits from English teacher to gym teacher to the lead actress in the play and on and on. It reads and infects like a dreamy fairy tale with beautifully expressive and strangely enticing writing. Wolitzer again tackles a complicated and provocative subject, female sexuality, with creativity and insight. Her fans and readers of women's fiction that's smart and snappy will want this."—Library Journal (starred) 

"Wolitzer makes it work, thanks to sharp characterizations and acute observations on everything from the digital generation gap to the accommodations made in a long marriage. . . . A risky strategy pays off for a smart author whose work both amuses and hits home."—Kirkus 

"A high-school performance of Lysistrata has a mysterious effect: The women of a New Jersey town become increasingly disinterested in sex with their partners. In the alternately hilarious and poignant events that follow, couples reexamine their relationships."—Ms. 

"Meg Wolitzer, like Tom Perrotta, is an author who makes you wonder why more people don't write perceptive, entertaining, unassuming novels about how and why ordinary people choose to make decisions about their lives....The Uncoupling is a novel that can't help but make you think about your own relationship—about what it consists of, what would be left if sex were taken away, how far you'd be prepared to go in order to keep it in your life somewhere, and so on."—Nick Hornby, The Believer 

"Wolitzer writes of a spell cast upon a town-but she superbly casts it upon the reader as well. This deftly written tale of bewildered women (and their men) is always surprising and always engaging, both funny and serious at the same time, a wonderful read."—Elizabeth Strout, New York Times–bestselling author of Olive Kitteridge 

"In this fiercely funny, playful and always tender novel, Meg Wolitzer glories in the drama and the magic of falling in and out of love... and bed.The Uncoupling is, happily, a very sexy fable about sexual ennui."—Cathleen Schine, New York Times–bestselling author of The Three Weissmanns of Westport

Library Journal
Wolitzer's new novel, after The Ten-Year Nap and The Position, is another well-written and engrossing tale. And this one is definitely more of a tale than a story. In the town of Stellar Plains, NJ, a new, bohemian drama teacher arrives at the local high school. She selects as the school play Lysistrata, Aristophanes' comedy in which the women decide to stop having sex with their men to convince them to stop fighting in a war. As the actors rehearse, a cool wind of a spell passes through the women of Stellar Plains. It touches other teachers and students alike. The chill makes the women want to abstain from sex. So what happens when an entire town of women start to push away their men for no apparent reason? Otherwise happy couples break up. The novel flits from English teacher to gym teacher to the lead actress in the play and on and on. It reads and infects like a dreamy fairy tale with beautifully expressive and strangely enticing writing. VERDICT Wolitzer again tackles a complicated and provocative subject, female sexuality, with creativity and insight. Her fans and readers of women's fiction that's smart and snappy will want this. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/10.]—Beth Gibbs, Davidson, NC
Kirkus Reviews

Not previously known for whimsy, Wolitzer (The Ten-Year Nap, 2008, etc.) uses a magical premise to launch her sharp-eyed assessment of sexual desire in its permutations across generations and genders.

A high-school production of Lysistrata casts a "spell" that causes every woman in the town of Stellar Plains, N.J., to lose interest in sex. That includes teenaged Willa Lang, who has barely had time to enjoy her first real romance, as well as her mother Dory, whose sudden indifference after years of enthusiastic marital intimacies pains and puzzles husband Robby. Dory and Robby are English teachers at Eleanor Roosevelt High School, where new drama teacher Fran Heller is rehearsing Aristophanes' centuries-old comedy about women withholding sex to stop war—which inspires the play's star, Marissa Clayborn, to stage her own "sex strike" to call attention to the conflict in Afghanistan. The spell isn't the best fit for a writer of Wolitzer's comic gifts, and at first it seems like a long way to go to get to the novel's best scene, in which five female teachers ruefully remember the thrill of youthful physical love and its slow devolution into routine or obligation. The wincing recognition prompted by their comments is matched by the author's compassionate portraits of mostly decent, loving men unnerved by a sea change they can't comprehend or cope with. Hardest hit is Fran's son Eli, so distressed by Willa's rejection that he heads for his father's home in Michigan; Fran and husband Lowell decided long ago that the way to keep passion fresh was to live apart. The performance of Lysistrata, with Willa subbing for sex-striking Marissa, provokes a general healing that skirts perilously close to contrivance and sticky sentiment, but Wolitzer makes it work, thanks to sharp characterizations and acute observations on everything from the digital generation gap to the accommodations made in a long marriage.

A risky strategy pays off for a smart author whose work both amuses and hits home.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101486511
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/5/2011
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 125,183
  • File size: 376 KB

Meet the Author

Meg Wolitzer
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.

Biography

Meg Wolitzer grew up around books. Her mother, Hilma Wolitzer, published two novels while Meg was still in school, and weekly trips to the library were a ritual the entire family looked forward to. Not surprisingly, Meg served as editor for her junior high and high school literary magazines. She graduated from Brown University in 1981. One year later, she published her debut novel, Sleepwalking, the story of three college girls bonded by an unhealthy fascination with suicidal women poets. It marked the beginning of a successful writing career that shows no sign of slacking.

Over the years, Wolitzer has proven herself a deft chronicler of intense, unconventional relationships, especially among women. She has explored with wit and sensitivity the dynamics of fractured families (This Is Your Life, The Position); the devastating effects of death (Surrender, Dorothy), the challenges of friendship (Friends for Life), and the prospective minefield of gender, identity, and dashed expectations (Hidden Pictures, The Wife, The Ten-Year Nap).

In addition to her bestselling novels, Wolitzer has written a number of screenplays. Her short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize, and she has also taught writing at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and at Skidmore College.

Good To Know

In our exclusive interview, Wolitzer shared some fun and fascinating facts about herself:

"First of all, I am obsessed with playing Scrabble. It relaxes me between fits of writing, and I play online, in a bizarro world of anonymous, competitive players. It's my version of smoking or drinking -- a guilty pleasure. The thing is, I love words, anagrams, wordplay, cryptic crossword puzzles, and anything to do with the language."

"I also love children's books, and feel a great deal of nostalgia for some of them from my own childhood (Harriet the Spy and The Phantom Tollbooth among others) as well as from my children's current lives. I have an idea for a kids' book that I might do someday, though right now my writing schedule is full up."

"Humor is very important to me in life and work. I take pleasure from laughing at movies, and crying at books, and sometimes vice versa. I also have recently learned that I like performing. I think that writers shouldn't get up at a reading and give a dull, chant-like reading from their book. They should perform; they should do what they need to do to keep readers really listening. I've lately had the opportunity to do some performing on public radio, as well as singing with a singer I admire, Suzzy Roche, formerly of the Roches, a great group that started in 1979. Being onstage provides a dose of gratification that most writers never get to experience."

"But mostly, writing a powerful novel -- whether funny or serious, or of course both -- is my primary goal. When I hear that readers have been affected by something I've written, it's a relief. I finally have come to no longer fear that I'm going to have to go to law school someday...."

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 28, 1959
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., Brown University, 1981
    2. Website:

Reading Group Guide

INTRODUCTION

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.

ABOUT MEG WOLITZER

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.

AN ESSAY FROM MEG WOLITZER

I kept hearing stories: How, at a cooking class, one woman had apparently told everyone that she had given up "that part" of her life forever. All around the room, the other women nodded empathetically; they knew what "that part" meant. How, over drinks, a friend had confided, "I would pay someone to have sex with my husband." How, on the message boards devoted to young motherhood and all its accoutrements, women described never wanting to be touched by adult male hands again.

Something was in the air, or at least in the conversation, and the prurient part of me was interested. But so was the writer part.

The subject of women withholding sex from men is an ancient one; in Aristophanes' comic play Lysistrata, the title character encourages the women of Greece to stop sleeping with men in order to end the Peloponnesian War. There have been more recent examples of sex strikes around the world, both in art and in life—not all involving war. What if the women's reasons for turning away from men are hard to explain? What if they're emotional, or biological, or have something to do with being angry at men for running the world and basically ruining it? And then, of course, there's despair, and vulnerability, and the fact that childbearing days have come to an end, so sex for its own sake needs to be really wonderful, or else why bother.

Women's magazines have long been on the diminished-desire beat. The articles they publish seem to be increasingly brain science–based, in addition to including traditional anecdotes from unhappy bedrooms and professional advice from a kind and knowledgeable therapist. (The word "candles" might get mentioned, prescriptively.) But what interested me most as a novelist wasn't primarily the latest psychological or neurochemical research into female arousal, or lack thereof. Instead, I just wanted to take a look at the way female desire changes over time. And it definitely does change. There may not always be an outright war between men and women, but something's certainly going on now, in "that part" of women's lives, and I wanted to see what it was.

That's what I've explored in The Uncoupling. I decided to work Lysistrata into it, at least around the edges, imagining what would happen if the play cast a spell over a group of girls and women in that same invisible way that love and the beginnings of desire seem to cast a spell, too, entrancing their subjects, changing the way they think about themselves and the lives they've been living.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  • Think about the women in the novel. Each of them reacts to the loss of desire in a different way. How does each woman's reaction reflect the stage of life she is in? Which woman do you think is the most changed at the end of the novel?
  • Willa and Miles both participate in an online world and communicate with each other electronically. How do you think electronic communication changes how relationships are built? Can it be a helpful tool? Can it be problematic?
  • Dory and Robby seem to be the perfect couple at the start of the book. How does the author signal that there might be problems beneath the surface? Think about other books you've read that feature married couples who start off happily married. How are those marriages similar to Dory and Robby's? How are they different?
  • Think about the character of Fran. Do you think she's a force in the book for good? Do you think she's fully aware of the consequences of what she's doing? What price does she pay for her actions?
  • The play Lysistrata figures prominently in the book. What do you know about the play Lysistrata? How does the action of the play relate to the events of the book? Why do you think the author chose this play to be central to her novel? How does Lysistrata relate to the modern world?
  • Think about the spell. How is each woman affected by the spell? What is the significance of the moment each woman comes under the power of the spell? What is the spell a metaphor for? What do you think the author's intention is?
  • While the spell affects the relationship between men and women, The Uncoupling also deals with the relationship between mothers and their children. How is Dory and Willa's relationship affected by the spell? What other mother and child relationships are in the book? How are those relationships changed by the end?
  • Neither Marissa nor Leanne is a committed relationship at the start of the book. How does the spell change their view of their own sexuality? How is it different from how the married women are changed?
  • The spell of course is fantasy, but think about real-life parallels. Are there examples in your life where you can see a similar "spell" at work? What are the causes? What are the solutions?
  • How does Wolitzer compare the effects of the spell of Lysistrata to the spell of falling in love—or out of love? Are there other experiences in life that make you feel as if you're falling under enchantment? The spell of a good book, for instance, of the spell of a play?
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 44 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(18)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A modern day rendition of Lysistrata

    At Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Stellar Plains, New Jersey, drama teacher Fran Heller chooses the Ancient Greek classic Lysistrata as the play her students will perform. However the anti-war comedy has a strange effect on the town's females. Just like in Aristophanes' drama, the adult women and teen girls refuse to have sex with their male counterparts. Though in the Greek drama it was to end the endless Peloponnesian War; none of the Jersey women know why,

    No exceptions to the sexual abstinence rule surfaces. The guys are stunned as their seductive efforts fail miserably. The women wonder where the passion went while the men wonder where the women went. All are unhappy as a spell has been cast leading to the Uncoupling of couples breaking up.

    This is an intriguing sort of adult fairy tale look at female sexuality in the age of social media when people are living much longer. The story line is character driven by the couples struggling with frustration over unfulfilled basic needs although the female side is much more complicated. Readers will enjoy the New Jersey Housewives and other females starring in Mg Wolitzer's modern day rendition of Lysistrata.

    Harriet Klausner

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Uncoupling takes relationships to a whole new level. One where everything bright and shiny is stripped away to reveal the dull, scratched-up surface of what's underneath. Funny and wry but dead serious at times, The Uncoupling pokes fun at what c

    When a new drama teacher comes to town and decides to put on a production of Lysistrata, the women of Stellar Plains suddenly turn against their significant others by withholding sex. Although the play is about just that, the women do not consider this fact as a cold wind rolls through town, taking their sexual appetites with them. This was an interesting read. It's a satire with a bit of magical realism tossed in. Wolitzer takes a topic that has been discussed many, many times before and somehow makes it fresh. Because let's face it, women have been turning men away for years. Especially married women. No need to be secretive here but with kids, work and the day-to-day stuff that goes on, it happens all the time. Except, these women can't figure out why. They are confused and don't understand how one day you can be lusting after your husband and the next day.poof! As each character goes within herself to find out why, insecurities and frustration come flooding out. This is one of those novels where characters are well-developed and likable but don't really matter. I should say, that their names don't really matter. These characters are universal and can be found in any town and I think Wolitzer purposely wrote them that way. In fact, the town.neither big nor small could be Anytown, USA. It's a "slice of life" story. The kind of story that allows you to take what you want from it. I will say this, towards the end of the book, a political statement is made regarding the war in Afghanistan and although I can see why Wolitzer thought it would tie-in, it didn't and actually pulled me right out of the story. The magical elements disintegrated and I was quickly brought back to reality. In summary, I liked the story and how the characters meshed with one another and I liked how generic the characters were. It allowed me to easily escape into their world. I found the writing to be beautiful and although the ending sort of threw me, it didn't affect my overall feeling towards the book. I am not a fan of magical realism but it was very subtle and handled well. Overall, a quick but engaging read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I'm Befuddled

    The new and eccentric drama teacher at Eleanor Roosevelt High School makes a radical choice and announces the school play will be Lysistrata, a Greek comedy by Aristophanes in which women withhold sex from men until war is over. As the play is rehearsed in preparation for the only performance, a spell is cast over the citizens of the small New Jersey town. The spell leaves no one's sex life untouched as women lose all interest, and not even the perfect couple, favorite English teachers, Robby and Dory Lang, are unaffected. With the demise of female sexual desire men and women, both young and old, have to reexamine their relationships and the role sex plays in their lives. During the performance of the play, unhappy men take over the stage to try to put back together the fabric of their relationships. No one in the audience will remember later what happened on the stage when the spell is undone. But their relationships have changed and they must take the restoration of desire and sex and forge new bonds of love and intimacy both physical and emotional. This book befuddled me. I was anxious to pick it up each time because it was interesting, but I'm not sure what I found interesting about it. In one word the book is about sex but without any juicy sex scenes. The plot was uncertain though I wanted to know what would happen next. The main characters seemed one dimensional, not quite teased out, and not even likeable except maybe Dory. The conclusion was a little confusing and unfinished, but I had already guessed how it would end. It was entirely bewildering. However I think it was the way it was written that kept me going. Wolitzer's writing was wonderful and I appreciated the style all the way through. I can't think of anyone I would recommend The Uncoupling to, but I enjoyed the read. Hmmmm.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Dumbest book I have ever read!

    This book sounded intriguing to me. In fact I was just telling my husband how I had never read a book that I didn't like and then sure enough, I bought this and STUPID!
    I did finish it, hoping that it would get better, but it didn't. The story line had such potential, but it just fell flat. Don't spend the money to read this. Go to the library and see for yourself.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2012

    The uncoupling started out very intriguing...going through diffe

    The uncoupling started out very intriguing...going through different women's experience of "uncoupling." I enjoyed how it played out in different relationships and how women of different ages were affected. The ending just fell short of what it could have been leading up to.

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  • Posted September 24, 2011

    Charming

    An interesting twist on a much written subject about love and sex. Meg Wolitzer keeps you guessing about the outcome while reflecting on your own personal thoughts and experiences.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2011

    Not what I expected

    Not what I expected, really no point to this story. Wouldnt recommend!

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