Tuesday, September 20

Book Review: The Awakening

Title: The Awakening

Author: Kate Chopin

Pages: 221

Summary: The Awakening aroused so much controversy when it was published in 1899 that it ended Kate Chopin’s career. It is the tale of one woman’s search for personal freedom in a world of strict social norms. Edna Pontellier is a young mother and mode wife from New Orleans those norms and thereby defying the bounds of society. After separating from her husband and gamily and entering into a daring love affair, Edna’s resolve is soon tested by that this controversial book is still with us is a testament to the talent o the author and the honesty of her characters. Today, the Awakening is among the finest examples of literary work with the strength and beauty to rise above suppression and endure the test of time.

My Rating: 8.25/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I enjoyed the story of the book, Chopin showed Edna's struggle to discover herself, and explore her true identity. The author did a good job at exploring the trails a woman faced during the time period, and how Edna was suffocating in her oppressive situation. I enjoyed the idea on how Edna starts to break away from traditional social roles of a woman of her standing is suppose to do, and starts doing something for herself and her own happiness. I both liked and hated the idea of her cheating on her husband, it did make the story that much more interesting - and I can see why it is so controversial during its time. The ending surprised me, but I felt it was very fitting to the book and Edna's character.

I was hoping for a little more from the book, I'm not sure exactly what I would have wanted, but there felt like there was something missing from the story. I also found that there were a few times the story seemed to slow down, and it wasn't the case where it slowed down to help make a more effective plot. Otherwise, it was an enjoyable read.

Would I recommend it to read: I would. It was a well written and thought provoking story, there were times it slowed down, but it is worth reading.

What to read next: The Bell Jar

Challenges: 11 in 11, 100+ Challenge, 1001 Books to Read Challenge, Mental Illness Advocacy Challenge

Banned Book Week: Challenged because of its unconventional portrayal of women in society, sexuality, vulgar language.


  1. No book has been banned in the USA for about half a century. Fanny Hill got that honor a long time ago. Challenged books in schools that are removed is different from banning. Setting aside that Banned Books Week is propaganda, the creator of BBW said:

    "On rare occasion, we have situations where a piece of material is not what it appears to be on the surface and the material is totally inappropriate for a school library. In that case, yes, it is appropriate to remove materials. If it doesn't fit your material selection policy, get it out of there."

    See: "Banned Books Week Propaganda Exposed by Progressive Librarian Rory Litwin; ALA Censors Out Criticism of Its Own Actions in a Manner Dishonest to the Core."

  2. Ok, so, not to detract from the spam or anything, but I also read this book a long time ago and really liked it, but don't remember it very well. I know there was a lot of controversy surrounding this book, and I think that only makes the book more attractive. Great review on this one, Jules!

  3. I just read this recently, too, and was rather surprised to actually like it. I wasn't sure if it was my type of read...

  4. I really enjoyed this book, but I can imagine why you wouldn't like it. I think it's one of those books I didn't love when I read it, but as years pass, I find that I can relate to it more and more.

  5. I'm looking forward to reading this one. Thank you for your honest review.

  6. Zibilee - I've seen the spam on a lot of sites. I won't pretend I was not pleased with it - everyone of course is entitled to their opinions, but this isn't that, it's spamming every person who tris to talk about banned books. But it did end up starting a good debate on my facebook. I find it so funny that the majority of controversy surrounding the book was because the wife in the book didn't wish to do her "wifey chores." But was a good book.

    Kailana - I found after I read my review, and what I wrote, how much I actually enjoyed it.

    Aarti - I agree, I think a lot of people wouldn't like. I find a lot of people fixate on the idea of the mother abandoning her children for "selfish reasons." But I enjoyed it nonetheless.

    Linda - I hope you enjoy the book when you get the chance to read it.