The Widows of Eastwick: Book summary and reviews of The Widows of Eastwick by John Updike

The Widows of Eastwick

By John Updike

The Widows of Eastwick
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2008,
    320 pages.

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Book Summary

More than three decades have passed since the events described in John Updike’s The Witches of Eastwick. The three divorcées—Alexandra, Jane, and Sukie—have left town, remarried, and become widows. They cope with their grief and solitude as widows do: they travel the world, to such foreign lands as Canada, Egypt, and China, and renew old acquaintance. Why not, Sukie and Jane ask Alexandra, go back to Eastwick for the summer? The old Rhode Island seaside town, where they indulged in wicked mischief under the influence of the diabolical Darryl Van Horne, is still magical for them. Now Darryl is gone, and their lovers of the time have aged or died, but enchantment remains in the familiar streets and scenery of the village, where they enjoyed their lusty primes as free and empowered women.

Among the local citizenry, there are still those who remember them, and wish them ill. How they cope with the lingering traces of their evil deeds, the shocks of a mysterious counterspell, and the advancing inroads of old age, form the burden on Updike’s delightful, ominous sequel.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[A] less than sparkling Updike novel is still an Updike novel." - Publishers Weekly.

"This is a most curious novel. ...some will not like the book, but it is a vital part of the Updike experience." - Kirkus Reviews.

"As elegant a writer as he is, Updike has not quite been able to create fully drawn women characters who have vital lives and personalities of their own." - Library Journal.

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Author Information

John Updike Author Biography

Photo: George Bush Presidential Library

John Hoyer Updike was born in Reading, Pennsylvania in 1932. Up until the age of 13 he lived in Shillington, near Reading (where his father was a science teacher) before moving to Plowville, PA. As a child he suffered from psoriasis and stammered, but, with the encouragement of his mother, found an outlet in writing and reading - consuming mysteries by the likes of Erle Stanley Gardner, Ellery Queen, Agatha Christie and John Dickson Carr. He attended Harvard (which he chose because it was the home of the Harvard Lampoon - which he first contributed to, and later edited) where he majored in English. He once said, "My inability to read bravely as a boy had this advantage: when I went to college, I was a true tabula rasa, and received gratefully the imprint of my instructors' opinion...

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Name Pronunciation
John Updike: JON UHP-DYK

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