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15 July 2015

Comments

I tried with this book, but in the end I couldn't deal with it and gave up. She makes some good points, but I was bothered by her seeming to want to redefine spinster to mean any woman who feels independent, even as she makes her relationships with men so central to the book (at least in the parts that I read). Most of her awakeners actually married, which made the spinster title feel like a bait and switch to me. I don't know--I feel like being actually unpartnered is different from wanting to be unpartnered.

Teresa,
Thank you for adding this comment, which makes my rather rambling review about 150% better.
I think she was trying very, very hard to let it be known that she was "single" by choice--hence all the relationship stories. Perhaps she was trying a little too hard to update the 'spinster' idea--making it so that spinsters don't really avoid sex, they just avoid the rule-driven arrangements of living together and marriage. or something. Either way I know what you mean.
Marking her 'awakeners' as spinsters might have been a bit of a stretch, but I did still enjoy the focus on women writers living somewhat different sorts of lives. Then again I'm having somewhat of a feminist awakening myself these days--at the same time I'm going through teenage rebellion--and this is all a little awkward at 40. So something about the ability of these women to live what seemed like multiple lives in one lifetime was catnip to me at this point.

I love the idea of this book. I was actually called an old maid when I told someone on a mission trip I was 30 and single. I didn't marry until 35. I received this book for an online book club, wasn't finished by the post deadline and couldn't bring myself to finish it after the fact.

Savvy,
Yes, I keep hearing that, that this book was a good idea in theory. I kinda liked it, but honestly, I think the subject could be written about more. (And that's a rare subject these days!)
Imagine being an "old maid" at 30. What's the average marrying age these days? Has to be close to that, isn't it?

http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/files/graphics/MS-2.pdf

Average age of first marriage for women in the U.S. is 27-ish.

"Old maid" is such an old-fashioned term, don't you think?

Marija,
I love the readers of this blog. Always giving me the info I'm too lazy to go look up for myself.
I was floored when Savvy said someone actually used the phrase "old maid." Who does that? I agree, old-fashioned, and not universally viewed as a compliment. I'm not over-fond of "spinster," either, but I suppose "single person" just isn't as catchy.

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