This is a thought provoking, tautly written novella. A gem of suspense, it was first published in the early nineteen seventies and went on to become a popular movie of the same name, starring Katherine Ross. There is now a remake of the film version, starring Nicole Kidman in the lead role with Bette Midler in a supporting role and Christopher Walken as head of the sinister Men's Association described in the book. So, interest is now renewed in this very readable book, which, despite its simplicity and brevity, is a thinly disguised social commentary on the reaction of men to the early women's liberation movement.
The story is very simple but gripping and well written in clear, straightforward prose. Joanna Eberhart moves to the seemingly bucolic town of Stepford with her husband, Walter, and two children, leaving behind the dangers of big city living. An independent, assertive, intelligent, and creative woman, Joanna epitomizes the newly liberated women of the nineteen seventies. Looking for like souls with whom to become friends, she seeks out some of the other married women of the town, only to find that they are all uniformly addicted to housework, give their husbands complete obeisance, are made up to the gills, and have figures courtesy of maidenform.
Joanna manages to find several like-minded women such as her. Yet, when they, too, become addicted to housework after having a romantic weekend alone with their respective husbands, Joanna becomes convinced that the town's Men's Association has hatched a nefarious plot to change all the wives of Stepford into submissive Barbie dolls. Will Joanna manage to escape the fate of the rest of the Stepford wives? Read the book and find out. You will not be disappointed.