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Stepford Wives
Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
The internationally bestselling novel by the author of A Kiss Before Dying, The Boys from Brazil, and Rosemary's BabyWith an Introduction by Peter Straub For Joanna, her husband, Walter, and their children, the move to beautiful Stepford seems almost too good to be true. It is. For behind the town's idyllic facade lies a terrible secret -- a secret so shattering that no one who encounters it will ever be the same.At once a masterpiece of psychological suspense and a savage commentary on a media-driven society that values the pursuit of youth and beauty at all costs, The Stepford Wives is a novel so frightening in its final implications that the title itself has earned a place in the American lexicon.
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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I don't say this often, but I liked the movie better 🎬

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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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Well... this might be my new favourite book. The tension was gripping, and that insidious ending!! Though written in the 70s, the book's strong roots to the women's lib movement and unapologetic criticism of the patriarchy make it all the more relevant in today's landscape. A quick read that packs a punch. This will stay with me for a while!

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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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A leisurely tea & books morning before my busy work day kicks off 😌

Cathythoughts Loved this one !! And loved this one even more 2w
ljuliel This book must be really good or have something fascinating in it. Our town librarian told me there‘s one lady in town who ALWAYS checks this book out . Never any others. Just this one, over and over. (edited) 2w
ShyBookOwl @ljuliel Haha that's really strange but it is a very fascinating book. It's essentially a women's lib horror. There's so much in there to think about and explore, but it's also a straight up, edge of your seat, page turner. I'm loving it. It's written in 1972, but definitely feels relevant today! 2w
ShyBookOwl @Cathythoughts 😲 I had no idea he had such a recent book! Definitely want to read it! 2w
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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I was beginning to think this book didn't have chapters but I hit Two at 54% 🤔

lele1432 Lol. Not sure if you‘ve read this one or not, but it was like that. There were 2 chapters and that was it. I was glad it was a short novella so it didn‘t get too tedious! 2w
ShyBookOwl @lele1432 I haven't but I want to read some Baldwin so I've stacked it 😊 thank you. Strange format though! Lol 2w
lele1432 You‘re welcome! And yes it is strange lol 2w
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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Loved this book! I‘d seen the film and when I came across the book at the book barn I snatched it up! I read it in a couple of hours. I‘ve read a few books by Ira Levin now and enjoyed then all. #iralevin #bookflatlay

The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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Loved this movie, finally found a copy of the book. So far the writing is not beautiful but the story moves quickly.

ElizaMarie I had been curious about this one 2mo
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Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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I found some delicacies that would have come in handy for our #stepfordsummerparty


If you‘re looking for something a little different for your Christmas feast this year, give this one a go! 😆

ravenlee Well, now I‘ve lost my appetite for lunch. Thanks for that! 🤢 2mo
Cinfhen Oh God!!! That‘s NASTY!!! But what a creative candle 2mo
MicheleinPhilly I'm sure the wilted dirty lettuce on the plate really adds a “WOW“ factor. 2mo
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vivastory Thanks for the nightmare fuel 😂 2mo
mabell Oh my gosh! That is hilarious, because I was literally thinking this morning about the Stepford party food! I was even trying to remember the hashtag! 😂 2mo
ValerieAndBooks Good times!! Maybe we need a #stepfordchristmasparty now 😂 2mo
Mdargusch 🤣🤣🤣 2mo
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Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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I watched The Stepford Wives, always an interesting watch.

#Scarathlon #TeamStoker @TheReadingMermaid

TheReadingMermaid This is one of my favorite movies of all time! it may sound weird but I would totally live in Stepford if I had the chance! 😂😂😂 🧟‍♀️ 3mo
AsYouWish @TheReadingMermaid Oh my stars, me too!!!! There is just something about it that seems ideal. 3mo
TheReadingMermaid I want to go to their workout spa and do the washing machine with them!!! "SPIN CYCLE!!! WOOSH!" 3mo
AsYouWish @TheReadingMermaid Not the book club with The Heritage Hills Special Edition Golden Deluxe Treasury of Christmas Keepsakes and Collectibles? I mean according to Claire it is probably the most important book we will ever read in our lives!!! 3mo
TheReadingMermaid OMG yes!!!!!!! 😂😂😂😂 3mo
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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This was such a good story and a fairly quick read. I read this in two sittings. Like Rosemary‘s Baby, this book was gripping and suspenseful, and kept me on the edge of my seat. Definitely recommend. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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Day 1: #7covers7days #covercrush

Tagging Lainie to join in if you wish!! @AlaMich 🤗

saresmoore I love it! 4mo
BarbaraBB What a great creepy cover! Fits the book perfectly! 4mo
LeahBergen That‘s awesome! 4mo
See All 7 Comments
CarolynM That cover is perfect! 4mo
batsy Oh yes, this one is so apt 👌🏽 4mo
Megabooks Nice!! 4mo
Reviewsbylola That‘s kinda creepy. 4mo
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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In this idyllic neighbourhood, they just want to #fixyou , ladies..

(Image from abebooks.com)

CarolynM 😏😂 7mo
Eggs 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 7mo
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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I went to the library just to pick up the tagged book 🤷

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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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...a little spontaneous stack jumped me on my way out of the bookstore... My TBR is increasingly unmanageable 😳🙂 ...guess I‘ll just have to read faster...

Cartoom ...does anyone know/recommend any of these btw? 9mo
ShyBookOwl We will all die with a TBR stack, and that's ok 🤷🏽‍♀️📚📚 9mo
Theaelizabet These are so different, but ya can‘t go wrong with Turgenev, imho. 9mo
Cartoom ...you‘re never off with a classic. So maybe that‘s it and the two other will forever stay in the📚😉 9mo
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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I wanted to read this because I genuinely enjoy the movie but it kind of sucks. I think it's the writing style. The themes aren't in the background like you would expect, it's actual dialogue which makes the characters seem SUPER judgemental about everything around them.

Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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This book is creepy, but in such a subtle way. I really enjoyed the main character‘s stance on women‘s rights and how smart she was. Every woman being the same was really creepy. I wish I had not read the literary analysis (which looked like a little introduction) before I read the book. I think that would have made the reading more enjoyable.

jenniferajanes I‘m glad you enjoyed it! I feel the same way about this book, minus the intro/analysis. If that was in the copy I read years ago, I either skipped it or don‘t remember it. 9mo
TheReadingMermaid Ooooo 😗 one of my absolute favorite movies is the remake with Nicole Kidman in it. I've wanted to read the book for so long. Thank you for tagging me! 💖🤗💖 9mo
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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Well THAT was a fast read! So creepy and unsettling - I just loved it.

rather_be_reading this is a book?! 10mo
emilycoc Yes! And a good one 😁 10mo
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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Having resigned myself to the fact that I have to work all weekend, I decided to leave early today - and that means a beer and a new book! This one is especially exciting for me because a) it‘s a new read; b) it was basically free because I used an Amazon gift card to get it; and c) this is on my “to be read” stack on Litsy! Like I bought this book because of a Litsy review! So I‘m really excited to start.

The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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#TimbitTunes #thesuburbs I‘m thinking of our buddy read last year .... what a great book , set in the #suburbs I‘m pretty sure ... is Stepford a suburb ... I can‘t remember 🤭

BarbaraBB I thought of this one too. It must be a suburb! 11mo
Cinfhen Absolutely 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻great choice 😀 11mo
batsy Oh yes, suburban scares indeed!! Clever pick. 11mo
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erzascarletbookgasm This is a great scary cover! 11mo
TheKidUpstairs Perfect! 11mo
Cathythoughts @BarbaraBB ♥️👍🏻 11mo
Cathythoughts @Cinfhen ♥️😘 11mo
Cathythoughts @batsy♥️👍🏻 11mo
Cathythoughts @erzascarletbookgasm it is 👍🏻😳 11mo
Cathythoughts @TheKidUpstairs ♥️👍🏻 11mo
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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I read this on Jan 31 & gave it 4 ⭐️. This book left me feeling uneasy at the end even though I knew the plot twist. I found it more scary than Rosemary‘s Baby plus Joanna was more relatable.

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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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When Joanna and her family move to the idyllic town of Stepford, she soon finds the women are a little too perfect.

Read January 23-26
Book 6/55

The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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I've always been a fan of the movie and I can't believe I waited so long to finally read the book. I really enjoyed this one it is creepy and seriously twisted and even though it was written in 1972 it still hold so true to the way woman are viewed.

ChristySevern First read this one as a teenager! Loved it! I love the movie too! 😆 12mo
DustyPages 💜💜 12mo
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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Getting some reading in on this chilly #socksunday (anything under 70 is chilly for me!). Thank goodness this one‘s short, even with a newborn it‘s manageable!

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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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A good short story, but damn that intro by Palahniuk! Gave away the plot and would have been better as an afterword.

DGRachel That stinks! I hate when intros ruin major plot points. 1y
CouronneDhiver Lame! Why would they do that? 1y
Bookzombie I stopped reading intros because of this kind of thing. I usually go back and read them after I finish the book. 1y
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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This is an #AmericanHorror story that I read earlier this year and one that arguably could happen to some degree in real life. The similarities to today‘s society certainly gave me pause. More creepy than horror, but a definitely social commentary for 1970s US society. #NoFemmeber

Billypar Yes...perfect choice ☺️ I've only seen the movie but I enjoyed that and really want to try this and other Levin novels. 1y
Cathythoughts Loved this book ! Great pic 👍🏻 1y
Librarybelle Hope you have a chance to try them soon, @Billypar ! 1y
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Cinfhen Great pick 🤖 1y
Mdargusch Great choice! 1y
batsy Such a good pick 👍🏽 1y
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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October Wrap-Up!

I read a total of 8 books this month (3 physical, 5 ebooks). And, as many of you saw, this month I surpassed my Goodreads challenge of 70 books!

My favourites were The Stepford Wives and The Mothers. #octoberwrapup

Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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I am taking a break from #litsyatoz to read some horror/terror/weird books in October. Next up: Stepford Wives by Ira Levin. It still fits in with books into movies tho 😉 #stepfordwives #octoberreads

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Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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#AbbaInAugust #IDoIDoIDoIDoIDo the Stepford wives didn‘t know the half of it when they said #IDo 😱

Cinfhen Nice pick 🤖🤖🤖🤖🤖🤖 1y
CarolynM 👏👏👏 1y
Meredith3 They sure don‘t! Good choice!! 1y
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emilyhaldi Damn I still gotta read this one!! 1y
Cathythoughts @Cinfhen 👍🏻❤️ 1y
Cathythoughts @CarolynM loved this book 👍🏻 1y
Cathythoughts @Meredith3 thanks! 😉 1y
Cathythoughts @emilyhaldi it really really good 👍🏻😉 1y
Mdargusch Ha! Good one. And you are so right, saying “I do” was just the beginning of their misery. 1y
Cathythoughts @Mdargusch sad ! But true. Stepford wives... not as make believe as we might think. But , here‘s to brilliant & strong wives ... 👍🏻❤️❤️ 1y
Reviewsbylola That‘s the truth!! 1y
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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This was a trippy novella that is readable in one night. It came out the year I was born and I never saw the movies. I am glad I was able to read it with no preconceptions because I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. What a roller-coaster ride. Definitely glad I finally gave this one a few hours of my life!

Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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You know you are reading an old book when they site Betty Friedan. Whom I ♡ btw.

The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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We went for a long walk this morning and landed at the river. I read on the rocks while the guys threw rocks. What is it with guys? Why do they always have to throw rocks in water when the opportunity presents itself? Anyway, I‘m resting now and finishing this one.

The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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I have to read a book that I really don‘t like for a bookclub. So I‘m also reading this one, because I know it won‘t disappoint. It‘s also a #BlameItOnLitsy read. You all made it sound so good.

Bklover Really enjoyed Stepford Wives! 2y
SledgeReader @JacqMac Excellent approach! Hope you enjoy Stepford Wives. It was a great read!! 2y
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Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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Fast, good read.

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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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Hyped for this #thriftstore find! I love #secondhand books 😍

StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Welcome to Litsy 📚🤓 2y
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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Look what showed up today, only a week late for @Cinfhen 's #stepfordsummerparty ☹️ I'm glad I downloaded the e-book as media mail & Hawaii just don't mix very well. I ordered it on June 1st from Book Depository & the order processed & shipped on the 4th, so almost 4 weeks to travel. Oh well, was only $5, it will be nice for my shelves & I can read the Chuck Palahniuk intro as the e-book is Peter Straub. #lookingonthebrightside

CarolynM Worth the $5 for the bookmark! 2y
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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It‘s #Recommendsday! If you enjoy a creepy, provocative, suspenseful social commentary, particularly dealing with society‘s treatment of women, read this. The author doesn‘t spell everything out, and leaves things open to interpretation, which encourages deeper thought. All in all a good story, I‘m glad I read it. Thanks @Cinfhen ! Now to watch the films. 📽🎞

LibrarianRyan Love Dita von Tese. Great picture choice. 2y
BookBabe @LibrarianRyan thanks! She designed my eyewear. 👓 😉 2y
Cinfhen Love this photo and your book review❣️❣️we are doing an 80s themed buddy read in October if you care to join in #HELLoWeen ☠️ 2y
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Avanders We just picked this as one of our book group reads (rl) last night! 💖 2y
BookBabe @Cinfhen thank you! 😊 This was a super fun buddy read! Thank you for hosting it. 💕 And thanks for the invite to the HELLoWEEN one...I just might take you up on that! 😁 2y
BookBabe @Avanders ooh, goody! Maybe I should suggest this for one of our book clubs...I bet you‘ll have a great discussion! 🙌🏻 2y
Avanders @BookBabe ooh definitely!! Honestly I was surprised it was picked .. I'm excited!! 2y
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Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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#StepfordSummerParty FINAL QUESTION

5. Let‘s talk about the ending! Did you like that it‘s left to your own imagination? Do you think Bobbie had a physical hand in eliminating Joanna? Any other final thoughts/ comments? THANK YOU ALL for the funniest 4 days 😘😘

And to all who did not join, sorry we clogged your feed with endless 70s nostalgia 🕺☮️

mabell Thank so much for an awesome time @Cinfhen ! You were the perfect Stepford hostess, and I have had so much fun!!! 💃👯🕺😘 2y
Cinfhen I‘m so glad @mabell Thank you!! 2y
peaknit I really enjoyed this quick and nostalgic read, I probably missed out if I wasn‘t lured in by the 70‘s recipes😂 I would not have chosen this book on my own...for no reason really...so thank you! 2y
See All 55 Comments
peaknit I felt like Bobbie was definitely part of the plan in the end (once she turned to the dark side) at least to trick her into trusting long enough to be caught by the men. 2y
Pamwurtzler I did like the way it ended - that contributed to the creepy factor. In the alternate ending that exists in my head, Bobbi and Joanna get away and then someone infiltrates the club to find out what‘s going on. 2y
Pamwurtzler Thanks @Cinfhen for hosting this! It was a fun few days! 2y
C.Perone The 70s nostalgia was GOLDEN!!!! I really enjoyed it as a non-participant 😊😊 2y
mabell I like the version that exists in your head @Pamwurtzler ! Get away! Expose the evil plot! 😂 2y
DebinHawaii Thank you for hosting! It was good nostalgic fun. Brilliant job! In one sense I really liked the slight ambiguity of the ending & how chilling it was. I think Royal reading the Men in Groups book & cleaning his pipe & that last line... and Ruthanne!s 'or I won't enjoy the weekend' ...😱 So powerful! But it drives me a bit nuts too. I want to know if Walter had any regrets or second thoughts, what the kids thought, etc... So many ??? 🤔😆so it ... 2y
Cinfhen I thought Levin was a genius at setting a mood without any words or gory details @peaknit @Pamwurtzler @mabell in so few pages he manages to convey so much. The book alludes that Bobbie holding the huge butcher knife may have been the one to silence Joanna. That was heartbreaking. I like @Pamwurtzler alternate ending too 2y
DebinHawaii ...was probably the right way to end the book. It would have been a different story with more explanations and reasoning behind it. And I do think Bobbie went to the dark side (as much as a robot can) but probably in a way of 'helping' the men and Joanna to achieve this 'perfect' life. 2y
Cinfhen I‘m glad you enjoyed as an “outsider” @C.Perone 💕💕💕 2y
Cinfhen I remember feeling terrible when Bobbie‘s boys tell Joanna how much they prefer the new Bobbie. The one who stays home, bakes cookies and doesn‘t yell😢😢😢 2y
Cinfhen I too would probably have never picked up this book @peaknit so I‘m glad to share this with you all @Pamwurtzler @DebinHawaii you guys made this party a blast 2y
Librarybelle This was so much fun, @Cinfhen ! Thank you! I was so hoping Joanna would escape; part of me thinks that Ruthanne may get away (crossing fingers on that one!). Yes, Bobbie did go to the dark side...the men coached the robot to take care of Joanna. I wanted to scream at Joanna not to trust Bobbie, not to go towards her. I do wish the Men‘s Association was exposed. Sigh... 2y
TrishB I enjoyed watching from the sidelines 👍🏻 2y
mabell @Cinfhen Bobbie's boy saying that just about broke my heart. Is Levin saying that no matter the age, boys/men only look for the necessities from women - feed me, keep a nice home? 2y
CoffeeAndABook I thought the ending was brilliant!! So heartbreaking that it was probably Bobbie who wielded the knife. I think it‘s highly symbolic to what is actually happening. The men leisurely standing by, letting the women do the dirty work of slaughtering each other. Isn‘t it so chillingly true? Isn‘t a huge part of the pressure women feel and the frenzie of „being it all“ mostly because we‘re so hard on each other, always in competition with each other?? 2y
Cinfhen Thanks @TrishB you‘ll have to join my 2019 summer party....book TBD 2y
Cinfhen I feel like RuthAnne is definitely the next victim @Librarybelle 😫and yes, so typical: men have their perfect robot kill her best friend (edited) 2y
CoffeeAndABook Wow, yes, @mabell , that might be exactly what he‘s saying ... and I agree, it was very sad coming from Bobbie‘s son. 2y
CoffeeAndABook And @Cinfhen I‘d also like to thank you - this was a fabulous buddyread, reading this book was such an enrichment, your party was the best!! ☀️👗🍸🌸 I loved being a part of it (except yesterday 😢I was completely booked), you were the perfect host, thoughtful and fun!! I‘d do some #daytimedrinking with you again in a heartbeat 😘🍷🍷 2y
bookandbedandtea Despite my usual desire for information, I liked that we aren't shown the transformation and are left to assume that the men had Bobbie do their dirty work. It increased the menace of an already disturbing story. Thanks for hosting this @Cinfhen I doubt I'd have read it otherwise and I truly enjoyed it. 2y
Bookzombie Thank you for hosting this @Cinfhen ! It was a blast to reread. I like the way that Levin left this to our imagination. I think the book would have had to be quite different if he had wrapped it up in some other way. I don‘t think I thought about Bobbie taking out Joanna when I read it the first time. It makes sense though. The women are programmed to be devoted to their husbands and do their bidding, I think. 2y
Bookzombie I‘m going to have to rewatch the movies. I was on Wikipedia and there were also three TV movies. Revenge of the Stepford Wives, The Stepford Children, and The Stepford Husbands. I feel like I remember seeing The Stepford Children when I was a kid. 2y
Cinfhen You girls were the best BuddyRead buddies🙌🏻 thanks so much @Bookzombie @bookandbedandtea and here‘s to plenty more #daydrinking experiences @CoffeeAndABook 🍷🍷🍷🍷 2y
mabell @Bookzombie @Librarybelle Yes, doing the husbands' bidding, or Bobbie thinking "I'm so much better. I want to help Joanna be her best too" 2y
TrishB Will look forward to it 👍🏻 2y
Cinfhen I was thinking about the children @Bookzombie especially the daughters.....what happens to them? (edited) 2y
Bookzombie @Cinfhen I know! Maybe they think they can train them since they are all young. They will follow their mom‘s patterns. Or maybe they plan to replace them when they are older? So disturbing. 2y
GripLitGrl Excellent points @CoffeeNBooks @mabell i do love have you were left to come to you own conclusions on what happened it made it that much better of a read. especially since some of it's still relevant today. Sorry i was late to questions. Thanks for hosting this super fun buddy read @Cinfhen i dont think i would've read the book if it weren't for you. Had a blast partying with all of you👗🍸#StepfordSummerParty 2y
Cinfhen 😘😘 @GripLitGrl you have a permanent invite to all my parties 2y
Mdargusch Oh my gosh! This has been so much fun @Cinfhen - thank you for hosting such a great party! As for Bobbie, I‘m assuming those dirty men could program her to do whatever they wanted! Of course they would rather have a robot kill her. 🤖🤖🤖 2y
Mdargusch Ps, I hope I‘m invited to your next party! 2y
Cinfhen After bailing on #LoneDove and #Dunces and struggling with #GWTW Im glad we found a book to bond over @Mdargusch 💜 2y
Cinfhen And the WHOLE DARGUSCH family is on my VIP list @Mdargusch 🤩 2y
Bookzombie I wonder about the friends from New York. Won‘t those friends wonder about the change in Joanna? Are they just going to cut off contact? Also, her parents were mentioned. Her mom even tells Joanna she could take a page out of the neighbor‘s book or something like that. What about the rest of the world? 2y
RealLifeReading I joined in pretty late but it was such fun all the same! Thank you so much @Cinfhen for this! The book has been on my TBR for a far too long time and this was the kick I needed to actually read it. I think I was scarred by the Nicole Kidman movie 😂😂 2y
Reviewsbylola It‘s funny, because I remember the movie being much more clear cut. Having that ending already in my head, I kind of filled in Levin‘s ambiguousness that way. 😂 2y
CarolynM I think the atmosphere of the book, the menace and creeping dread, came from not knowing what was really going on, knowing something was very wrong with these people but not how or why. The ambiguity of the ending was consistent. Also, I think it's that not knowing the details that makes your mind keep turning it over once you've finished reading. 2y
CarolynM @Cinfhen @mabell @CoffeeAndABook I think the view expressed by Bobbie's children is probably a fairly accurate representation of the way children see their mothers (and fathers and other care givers for that matter). Their immaturity means they relate everything to their own comfort and convenience. I think Levin included this bit very deliberately to highlight the immaturity of the desire for a "perfect" wife. 2y
CarolynM Thank you so much @cinfhen for throwing such a fun party. It's been a blast! I've only thrown in a couple of comments in the discussion because I didn't have a lot to add to the excellent points already made by the others. It's been lovely to read and party with such an interesting and insightful group. (edited) 2y
mabell @CarolynM What a terrific point! I love that! It's a very plausible explanation! 2y
SledgeReader This has been so much fun! I wish I hadn‘t been derailed today with summer Sunday realities! @Cinfhen is a fabulous hostess! I won‘t say “perfect” because that‘s the last thing I want to put on my friends after reading Stepford Wives. 🤪 it was heartbreaking to see Bobbie‘s role in the demise of Joanna. (I think she did it, Friends. It was a BIG knife.) And I think the process perpetually repeats itself. 2y
GripLitGrl @Cinfhen 😊 thanks so much I'll be at all the ones i can make it to! They are too fun to pass up💕💕 2y
erzascarletbookgasm I know the 2004 film was different from the book (saw the film years ago), so like @Pamwurtzler I was hoping for a different ending. 😆But I like how the book ended, Levin is brilliant. I think the ending is my favourite part- the horror of it, the living doll wives can be ‘programmed‘ or persuaded to do what the husbands command. 2y
erzascarletbookgasm In my interpretation, Bobbie killed Joanna, and those men (forgot their names) just stood to watch/wait and prepare to clean up the mess by getting the car ready! 2y
erzascarletbookgasm I had a fabulous time with this party! All the buddy readers are fun and interactive, provided much excellent points & views. Thanks so much Cindy, you‘ve been a terrific host, well organised, interesting discussion topics, with fun prelude before the discussion day. Make sure I‘m in your next party‘s guest list! 😘 2y
Cinfhen More insightful comments @CarolynM I‘m so glad your library had a copy!! And I‘m soooo happy you joined the party! I look forward to our next party @erzascarletbookgasm @RealLifeReading @SledgeReader and all my buddy readers...my party planning wheels are spinning🤗🤗🤗 2y
batsy @CarolynM Nicely put about Bobbie's son's comment and relating that to the immaturity of the men's thinking. How terrifying it is when grown men with power and physical strength think like children. 2y
batsy Thank you Cindy & everyone, I had a blast ? I didn't know what to expect with the book & it was riveting. I do think Bobbie might have been a "tool" in the elimination of Joanna :( To me, the ending was chilling & effective. Aside from the overt feminist issues he was dealing with, I also think that Levin captured a lot of the underlying anxieties of 70s-era American society; changing social norms, politics, environment. All in this slim book! 2y
mhillis I like ambiguous endings so it worked for me. Thanks for hosting such a great party!! 2y
asiriusreader @Cinfhen An awesome party! Thanks for being such a perfect host. I hope that I can join in the fun on the next one! I agree with all of you who said Bobbie likely wielded the knife against Joanna. Only makes sense, given that she was now a robot controlled by the men who needed a dirty job done. I wonder who did the ‘jobs‘ when the husbands would have their wives at home for a weekend? Did they always have a wife do it? And I also wonder about ... 2y
asiriusreader ...the Stepford daughters. What fates awaited them? Again, thanks @Cinfhen !! 2y
72 likes55 comments
Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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#StepfordSummerParty Discussion Question 4

4. Stepford is portrayed as an artificial , affluent, white, upper crust utopia so how about the inclusion of an African American family being introduced into the novel? How do you think that was received upon publication in 1971? Did you notice in both films (1975, 2004) RuthAnne Hendry is omitted as a character?!

mabell I don't remember the movie that well, but could RuthAnne/black family moving in have been replaced by the gay male couple moving in? i.e. "Different" moving into the neighborhood? Or were they included to show it isn't gender-based, but rather the desire to change your significant other into what you think they should be? (edited) 2y
peaknit I was surprised when I read the line “what do you know, Black is bearable” from Ruthanne near the end. Like that seems awfully unsophisticated and even had a momentary thought did Joanna get morphed into Ruthanne somehow? But then, I realized it was actually Ruthanne. This couple seemed somehow to fit in with this subculture in spite of their color with careers, lifestyle, etc. I wonder what 1971 women thought of it. 2y
Pamwurtzler I still need to re-watch - I‘d forgotten that RuthAnne wasn‘t written into the movie version. 2y
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Cinfhen I believe so @mabell but I still found that omission pretty shocking. I don‘t remember that exact line @peaknit but I remember that Ruthanne made the assumption that she was being given the cold shoulder because of her skin color and Joanna sort of assures her that it‘s not about race. 2y
Cinfhen It‘s interesting to me @Pamwurtzler because in the book JoAnna is trying to escape to RuthAnne‘s home and that whole scene in the movie was changed. 2y
peaknit @Cinfhen the line is near the end when Ruthanne runs into the new Joanna, it really struck a nerve for me. (Page 120 of my kindle version) (edited) 2y
Pamwurtzler @Cinfhen yes that makes me wonder too. 2y
DebinHawaii It is interesting that both movies left her out but both majorly changed the endings. I think the gay couple in the second film replaced Charmaine. @peaknit That line struck me too. I wondered if the inclusion of Ruthanne and her husband was Levin making a point of saying "ALL men are alike and ALL men want the Barbie robot wife." 2y
CoffeeAndABook I need to (re) watch both movies but I‘m surprised about the omission as well. I definitely felt Levin was making a statement about race & class in general but also would agree with @DebinHawaii about it being a statement about „all men being the same“. Wow, this discussion is so interesting!! 2y
peaknit @DebinHawaii great point! 2y
Librarybelle I‘ve not seen either film in their entirety, so I may have to remedy that soon... I think it addresses further change in society - women are fighting for their rights and other groups are also fighting for a voice. Honestly, I cannot see the Stepford men opening arms to Mr Henry, but maybe they‘re more inclusive than I think they would be. 2y
bookandbedandtea I haven't seen the films but I was quite surprised when Ruthanne was introduced in the book because it felt like Stepford as a community would have issues with a black family moving in. But if we're right that the men know what happens in this town before they move their families there it must mean that Mr Henry had been recruited. So I think Levin must have included them to say all men would rather their wives be bideable & unthreatening. 2y
Bookzombie I didn‘t remember that the original movie left Ruthanne out. I agree with @DebinHawaii about Levin possibly trying to point out all men are alike. I didn‘t question the men welcoming Ruthanne‘s husband. I think there has to be some sort of recruitment going on. I think when I read the part where Ruthanne asks her husband to take the kids for dinner, I could feel his reluctance to having to do such a thing. (edited) 2y
mabell @bookandbedandtea @DebinHawaii I think you're exactly right! 2y
Cinfhen Wow 😮 what a scary thought @bookandbedandtea and I think @Librarybelle is hitting on something else...women who were liberated were still fighting to survive, just like African Americans who were finally given full rights were still fighting to be recognized as equals 2y
Cinfhen @debinhawaii yes, the gay couple is probably a replacement for Charmaine and I thought that was an interesting twist but to keep Stepford all white on screen in 2004 seemed shocking 2y
DebinHawaii @Cinfhen It's on Showtime later today and I'm DVRing it. I watched it a couple months ago but it was before reading the book so I honestly wasn't focused on looking at the demographics, but yes, it does seem shocking they wouldn't have added more diversity in 2004. I need to watch the original again too--I've seen it several times but not in years. 2y
Cinfhen That seems like it was meant to be @DebinHawaii it‘s really a comedy and a MUCH different book than what we read. I‘ll be curious to hear your thoughts after watching the movie 🍿 2y
Cinfhen @Librarybelle do you have ShowTime @DebinHawaii said the Kidman version of Stepford is on Showtime today!!! 2y
Librarybelle @Cinfhen No, but it‘s good to know! 2y
Mdargusch I thought it was so refreshing for a black family to be included in the neighborhood but then Ruthanne had to feel shunned by the robots and not know if it was because of the color of her skin. I agree with @bookandbedandtea that if he was recruited, then that was the message. No matter what the color of your skin is, you want a perfect wife. 2y
DebinHawaii @Cinfhen Yes! When I watched it the first time it was based on my knowledge of the first movie & it was completely opposite. So interesting the different ways Hollywood took the book. I need to look and see the f it says what Levin thought--at least of the first one. Was he around for the second? 🤔 I think of Rosemary's Baby where Roman Polanski was so faithful to Levin's book but I read somewhere that he thought he had to be. I'm such a geek! 🤓 2y
RealLifeReading Yes I was really surprised when Ruthanne made her appearance in the book! I had seen the Kidman movie a long time ago but I remember it being a very white show. 2y
SledgeReader I‘m still leaning towards @CoffeeAndABook and the idea it‘s about society as a whole. It feels like Levin was addressing the concepts of class and race from the perspective of control. And that those in power dictate influence. Maybe I‘m reading too much into it. Regardless it‘s messed up and I think the author was sending a wake up call. I hope I get a chance to see the movie soon! 2y
erzascarletbookgasm @DebinHawaii and @bookandbedandtea have a very good point about Levin trying to say all men in general want the non-subversive wife. The 2004 film omitted Ruthanne but introduced a gay couple. Perhaps the film is trying to show that society has ‘progressed‘ in acceptance of metrosexuals and gays? 2y
CarolynM @erzascarletbookgasm Do you think the film was also hinting that even in non traditional domestic relationships there is still a desire by one partner to be served by the other? Or conversely, that such an idea is specific to the nuclear family model? 2y
Cinfhen Excellent point @CarolynM @erzascarletbookgasm although I‘m pretty sure the film was only looking for laughs and making $😜I don‘t think the filmmakers had any other agenda. 2y
batsy Great point @bookandbedandtea and that's really interesting @erzascarletbookgasm. This is such an interesting aspect to think about... Maybe Levin is suggesting that class and patriarchy trump race, in this sense? At the end of the day, all of these upwardly mobile middle-class husbands want the same prototype of a wife... 2y
asiriusreader I love reading all your responses—such a thoughtful discussion! I think @DebinHawaii may have hit the nail on the head (and others followed up) with the idea that all men would prefer a subservient wife, no matter their race, class, or status. You all reminded me I need to watch both movie versions! 2y
70 likes29 comments
Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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#StepfordSummerParty Discussion Question 3

3. Bobbie is convinced there must be toxins in the water. Do you think there was really a concern in the early 70s about environmental issues, toxic dumping, chemicals, pollution? Do you think this “theory” was added to mock women as being paranoid or suffering from hysteria?! Same with the psychiatrist, even a female psychiatrist has difficulty believing Joanna. What does that say about human nature?

peaknit I think it‘s says keep your opinions to yourself because people automatically assume if they don‘t follow the norm that you are mentally ill. I think it is common for this to happen, I work with some mentally ill in a corrections setting, and those folks need some advocates. But sometimes I wonder...are they really out there, or not? (edited) 2y
jpmcwisemorgan Environmental toxins would be a legitimate concern in the 70s - books like Silent Spring were already published and NEPA was passed in 1970. 2y
Pamwurtzler I think the early ‘70‘s was the beginning of the environmental movement. Bobbi‘s theory was a good one even if it was wrong. I remember being outside when the truck spewing mosquito spray would drive down our street and no one really thought twice about it. 2y
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DebinHawaii I agree about the environmental concerns. I was thinking of Silent Spring too & it was the start of the health food movement (countering all the gooshy soupy dishes) 😆I think thoughts would run there at that time period. 2y
Cinfhen I thought that was another brilliant move on Levin‘s behalf. To introduce the idea that toxins could be creating havoc in our perfect little towns @peaknit @jpmcwisemorgan @Pamwurtzler @DebinHawaii 2y
Librarybelle It makes sense about environmental concerns - I thought of Silent Spring and the beginning of the environmental movement as well. This also shows how isolated Joanna must have felt - even the psychiatrist thought she was slightly paranoid. 2y
Cinfhen And I hated that nobody took Joanna seriously- even the psychiatrist convinced her she was under stress from the move of leaving the city @Librarybelle @peaknit (edited) 2y
peaknit @Cinfhen I totally agree! It was maddening, like Joanna was just a silly woman. I think this still can easily happen. I mean if someone said they saw Jesus....I would really doubt that no matter how stable the person was, and who am I to judge that? But I‘d still doubt it...I just know I would despite my beliefs. 2y
Bookzombie @cinfhen I thought introducing the environmental concerns was brilliant too. It also showed how easily we doubt each other. Joanna thought something was going on, but she leaned toward thinking Bobbie was a little nutty about not drinking the water. 2y
mabell When I read the environmental idea, I thought of it more as brainstorming - what could cause women to change so suddenly? But it would make sense that the environmental concerns could speak to the times. I also gave the psychiatrist the benefit of the doubt - Occum's razor - wouldn't it be more likely Joanna is overstressed and seeing the world not quite right, than that men are able to somehow replace their wives exactly with "improved" models? 2y
mabell I also think the psychiatrist would be less likely to believe such a shocking story from a woman she had never before met. 2y
Bookzombie I was so frustrated that the psychiatrist discounted Joanna‘s fear and attributed them to the move and the stress of the holidays. I realize the psychiatrist didn‘t have the benefit of our knowledge, but I think that I might have wanted to make a visit to Stepford if I were her. Of course, Levin would have had to expand the book and go a different direction then. Lol. 2y
Cinfhen Yes, I get it @mabell Joanna‘s story makes her seem looney but to dismiss her so quickly and send her home with a prescription made me sad for her. Right @Bookzombie even Joanna thinks Bobbie has gotten a little extreme with only drinking her own bottled water (edited) 2y
GripLitGrl Was very disconcerning how quick the dr was to write a scrpit & go on vacation without follow up. For a women to buy into the hysterical woman bit so not cool. The whole environmental thing shows you how no place is safe or perfect maybe. I fo love hiw levin keeps you thinking 2y
Mdargusch I agree it was frustrating for the psychiatrist not to take Joanna seriously but that did sound very far fetched. I was just glad Bobbie knew there was something fishy going on. Too bad the men got her too soon. 2y
CarolynM I agree the psychiatrist was frustrating, but I think the casual prescribing of tranquillisers for "hysterical" women was pretty common in those days. I can remember my parents talking about it with disapproval. 2y
SledgeReader @CarolynM @Mdargusch @GripLitGrl @Cinfhen @DebinHawaii @Bookzombie @mabell @peaknit @Librarybelle @pamwurtzk@jpmcwisemorgan As soon as Bobbie started on the water and the environmental issue I thought about the issue of fluoride in the water during the 70s. I remember talking about it at school at the lunch table! Bringing it forward, I‘ve heard people in the medical profession say Zoloft should be in the water supply because so many people take👇 2y
SledgeReader it. I don‘t dispute it‘s a helpful treatment for people - been there. But the concept of treating a population through the water supply seems very possible AND very sneaky/creepy. Now I‘m feeling like Bobbie!!! Did anyone else get the creeps from the pharmacist and his wife?? 2y
mabell @SledgeReader Very creepy! She was a converted Stepford wife (right?), so I was surprised she also worked. Though her job appeared to be cleaning. 😂 2y
SledgeReader @mabell I assumed she was a converted Stepford wife. And is her husband a crucial part of the process? I thought it very weird Joanna took a tranquilizer while standing in the pharmacy. Who does that? 2y
Cinfhen I think that pharmacist must be providing some sort of tranquilizers to half of Stepford. I‘m sure the women are drugged when they go “away” on their “romantic getaways” @SledgeReader @mabell and how terrifying about what could easily be “added” to our water!!!! 😱😱😱 2y
Cinfhen I guess that was an improvement @CarolynM because how many women were “sent away” and had their brains fried in the 40s 50s and 60s ~ men had SO MUCH POWER over women ~ the more I think about it the scarier it becomes @GripLitGrl @Mdargusch @erzascarletbookgasm @Bookzombie 2y
CarolynM I hadn't thought about the institutionalisation and barbaric treatments of the brain so many women were subject to in relation to this, but it is all part of the spectrum. And not just husbands but parents did these things to females who didn't conform! (edited) 2y
SledgeReader @Cinfhen @CarolynM @mabell Exactly! The pharmacist would be a perfect partner in crime for the level of control in Stepford. And the concept of mental health patients didn‘t even occur to me! 2y
batsy You're on a roll with the good questions 🤯😁 I was interested in this aspect & looked it up & like others say it seems like issues about environmental pollution started percolating in this era. Was also thinking about how people who talked about CIA brainwashing tactics were deemed mentally ill or weird conspiracy theorists, but then it was revealed (not sure when) that Project MKUltra was a real thing... Levin was strangely prescient, in a way. 2y
batsy @Cinfhen I hated that Joanna wasn't taken seriously, too. And it's so common with women's experiences, isn't it, they're always deemed hysterical. And as the #metoo movement is showing us—even when wonen speak about being assaulted, there are a million ways society will not believe them or explain it away... 2y
Cinfhen AND you‘re on a roll with your fabulous responses 🙌🏻 @batsy 😘 2y
jpmcwisemorgan @SledgeReader There are a lot of drugs in our water system now but for a lot of them I think you have to put quite a bit in for it to have an effect on people. The only one I‘ve really followed is birth control because it‘s linked to some problems in frogs. 2y
Cinfhen That‘s really terrifying @jpmcwisemorgan 2y
SledgeReader @jpmcwisemorgan @Cinfhen @batsy The whole thing is horrifying. But I think this extends beyond women only. It‘s our children, the elderly, the mentally ill, our IDD community and the list goes on and on 2y
asiriusreader Another great question!! I definitely think Bobbie bringing up the possibility of environmental toxins makes sense given what I know about the era. And couldn‘t agree more with all who said they were so disappointed that the psychiatrist didn‘t take poor Joanna seriously — I think it was at that point that I knew for sure that things were not likely to end well for our girl! 2y
Cinfhen So glad you found time to join the discussion 😍 @asiriusreader 2y
69 likes32 comments
Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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#StepfordSummerPARTY Discussion Question 2

2. When we first meet Walter he seems to be an enlightened man, a “modern” liberal partner. He assures Joanna his interest in the Men‘s Association is purely social and he hopes to create a change from their “provincial” attitude. So, what the heck??? Are the men being brainwashed,hypnotized or are they SO easily influenced to have their wives “replaced”?!!

peaknit I wondered if the men were lured into this secret society before they settled in Stepford...paid a membership or something. I had not thought of men being tricked into this🤔 I will be paying close attention the next time I am at my favorite (#nerdalert) Walt Disney World ride The Hall of Presidents, that I am not being hypnotized...though I could be better at housework😂 (edited) 2y
Leniverse I wondered the same when I read this. I wondered if the men‘s club somehow made sure only the “right” kind of families would buy property in Stepford. 2y
Leniverse Wasn‘t it Walter who found the house/location? I don‘t remember 100% but I think the place was his idea? 2y
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Pamwurtzler I wondered that too. I‘m thinking the husbands were somehow brainwashed (maybe?) into thinking they needed the robot wives. 2y
Pamwurtzler @leniverse I think it was his idea. Do you think his ‘change the club from within‘ stance was just lip service so he could stall for time? 2y
peaknit I could totally see this being marketed to men as a really exciting plan, I mean what more could you want??...but then you have a robot🤔 2y
DebinHawaii Walter did find the town. I think it said he 'heard about it' so I do wonder if they are at least slightly targeted & lured in with the 'old-fashioned values that wives seem to take to' premise. I find it hard to believe that Walter would have known about the whole replacing thing & what must happen to the wives for that to happen but gets into Stepford & sees the result & group-think pushes him over. I do wonder if there is a point he has... 2y
DebinHawaii ...reservations before it happens. It doesn't appear so.🤔 2y
Librarybelle It seems that the men are brainwashed somehow...not quite sure, but it seems like some unsavory things are happening at the Men‘s Association building. I‘m not really sure if the men are lured there initially because of the way the women become - I think back to the talk when Ruthanne‘s family moved in...not the usual family. But, who knows? Propaganda is powerful stuff, so whilst the men hang out, there could be subliminal messages playing?? 2y
CoffeeAndABook This may sound cynical but I think all men / a lot of men have a tiny speck of longing for „the old order“ in them, even if they‘re totally modern and in support of women‘s lib. Of course this is an exaggeration but I would guess that any man within a certain context of men could get lured into wishing for a Stepford Wife now and again... Except my husband of course!!! 😉 2y
Cinfhen Hahaha @peaknit Hall of Presidents😂😂 yes @Leniverse Walter decides to move to Connecticut, Walter chooses the house etc Joanna seems to be along for the ride but it still seems hard to fathom that seemingly educated, reasonable men would want robot wives @Pamwurtzler @DebinHawaii That is super terrifying 2y
Cinfhen I think it‘s easier for us women to accept men being brainwashed then to think they so readily agree to murder their wives @Librarybelle 2y
Cinfhen And I think you‘re right! On some level men think, if only my wife looked good, cooked & clean & shut the hell up life would be so easy @CoffeeAndABook 2y
mabell It does make sense that Walter chooses to do so. As Joanna alludes, their whole relationship was really based on lies - "you've been lying to me since I took my first picture". Followed by the robot Joanna saying she doesn't do photography anymore, "I wasn't especially talented, and I was wasting a lot of time I really have better uses for." Was robot Joanna programmed with what Walter really thought of her? 2y
Bookzombie I think there has to be some sort of recruitment. You would need to be very careful that the people who moved into your town were on board with this. You couldn‘t take a chance that someone would change their mind and go to the authorities. Also, it seems as though they target certain types of men. When Walter tells her “it wouldn‘t hurt to look in a mirror once in a while,” I doubt those feelings were new. 2y
peaknit @CoffeeAndABook ha! I agree some men could be easily lured into thinking this was great, for a bit. Like I could get lured into a utopia where my husband picks up his socks and discusses books with me...also not real😂 in reality, maybe many things can look good until you really are in it, then notsomuch. Like a “dream” day job. A spouse‘s extended family. A time share. 2y
Bookzombie @CoffeeAndABook I don‘t think you are being too cynical. There are always exceptions, but I think we are just not far enough removed from the idea of the ideal housewife and that there are some men still longing for that. Sadly, maybe some women too. I‘d like to note that my husband is not one of those still longing. 🙂 2y
CoffeeAndABook Oh you‘re so right @mabell , I‘m sure the „robot“ Joanne said exactly what Walter had thought of her and her photography all along!! That‘s really sad, isn‘t it. 2y
bookandbedandtea I really want Walter's story! I agree with the idea that Walter knew what happened in that town, decided he wanted his own Stepford wife, and took steps to make it happen. It turns my stomach but I wish we had an account of the recruitment process. 2y
mabell @CoffeeAndABook So sad! Especially to be betrayed by one's own spouse. 😞 2y
GripLitGrl @mabell yes so sad to be betrayed by your own husband. I do wish the book would have went a little further into what happened to change Walter. Like cave man mentality took over when he was around all of them over time. 2y
Mdargusch I was so hoping Walter was the one man to stand by his wife. I agree with @Bookzombie though I think they had to have recruited him? 2y
Cinfhen Great comments @GripLitGrl @mabell @bookandbedandtea @CoffeeAndABook @Bookzombie @peaknit I wish we could do a monthly bookclub....maybe one of you want to pick a book?!!!! @Librarybelle @DebinHawaii 2y
Bookzombie @Mdargusch I hoped for this too! I found myself very angry with him, lol. 2y
Cinfhen In the 1975 movie Walter is very sinister @Mdargusch and in the book & movie it seems to indicate that he starts drinking heavily. So maybe he really was never a good guy 2y
DebinHawaii @mabell Great points and so scary/sad. @Mdargusch I really wanted that too. I think I kept looking for some regret or at one point he was fully over the edge but I think it was pretty quickly. 😣 2y
RealLifeReading That‘s a really good question and something I didn‘t think about while reading this. I agree with @Bookzombie that there may have been some kind of recruitment going on? Joanna talked about buying the house from a couple who had lived there for only two months and I had wondered if they got chased out of town or something 2y
Reviewsbylola Apparently he saw how well it was working out for the other men and wanted a piece of the pie. 🙄😑 2y
peaknit I‘d like a monthly book club too! @Cinfhen @DebinHawaii @CoffeeAndABook 2y
SledgeReader Hi Everyone! I‘m late to the conclusion of the Stepford Wives discussion. I think Walter was easily manipulated into believing that the “Stepford” method was successful and advantageous. He wanted a piece of the pie because he could have it and he liked it. @Cinfhen @GripLitGrl @mabell @bookbedandtea @CoffeeAndABook @Bookzombie @peaknit May I please join the monthly book group too??? You guys are so refreshing! (edited) 2y
DebinHawaii @Cinfhen @Librarybelle @peaknit @CoffeeAndABook @mabell @GripLitGrl @bookandbedandtea @Bookzombie @SledgeReader This was fun & I'm interested in a book club, but I'm crazy busy right now & would not want to commit to be the next book picker/host in July. Does anyone have a hankering to go next or have a book in mind? I will say that I really loved the 70s emphasis & social commentary it provided--should we pick a best seller from another decade? 2y
bookandbedandtea @DebinHawaii @Cinfhen @Librarybelle @peaknit @CoffeeAndABook @mabell @GripLitGrl @Bookzombie @SledgeReader I liked seeing everyone's 70s posts so I'd be game for another bestseller from a previous decade. I can't volunteer to take on July either... my daughter is heading to boot camp mid month so before then I'll be really busy spending every minute with her and after I'll be busy sobbing. 😥 2y
Librarybelle @Cinfhen @DebinHawaii @bookandbedandtea @peaknit @CoffeeAndABook @mabell @GripLitGrl @Bookzombie @SledgeReader I‘d love to do a monthly book club! I‘m afraid I have to beg off leading July as well - I‘m already leading a discussion, plus with staff vacations and a couple family issues, I‘m a little swamped. 😐 2y
erzascarletbookgasm Very good question. While reading the book, I had the impression that Walter didn‘t know anything before hand and was brainwashed into it. I was hoping he‘ll finally believe Joanna and be on her side. 2y
batsy Really good question! That was the scariest aspect of the book for me; Walter's transformation. Either way, it's awful. If he was programmed to think this way from the start & lured in by the recruitment drive to move to Stepford, then he did a good job of fooling his wife 😱 It the change happened organically after they moved without Walter being aware, then it means that deep down even the most enlightened straight man is susceptible to this 😱 2y
asiriusreader Sorry gang! Had to step away from the party because life and baby called! Hope it‘s ok I‘m coming back to comment now! Really great discussion here, and @batsy I couldn‘t agree more. The idea that the person who loves you most and is supposed to be your partner through thick and thin would gradually come to see you as ‘less than‘ and unworthy was what pushed the novel into horror for me. I can‘t even imagine—such a scary thought. I agree... 2y
asiriusreader ...that Walter must have been brainwashed somehow by the Men‘s Association. 2y
61 likes40 comments
Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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#StepfordSummerParty 🎉Discussion Time 😊 I‘m posting a total of 5 questions but only tagging you all once😉

Look for the hashtag to find the other questions which will follow shortly 😘😘

1. What is novelist Ira Levin trying to say with this book? Is he warning men or is he warning the women? Is this a watch out ladies, freedom comes at a cost or beware men, your days of dominance are over?

peaknit Good question, I think it could be a warning for either but I felt like given the timing, maybe more for men as women were starting to come into their own a lot more. No more June Cleaver! 2y
Pamwurtzler I think it was more of a warning to women - the tide was turning for women, but the men were desperate to remain in control. They were all strong independent women before the Men‘s club got hold of them. 2y
mabell Oh good question! It reads as a cautionary tale to women, as you see it from the women's point of view, but it could just as easily be a cautionary tale to men. They think they want the perfect housewife, but once they have it, do they regret it? As one husband said, My gosh, we don't want *robots* for wives, we want real women. 2y
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DebinHawaii Yes, the tagging big groups thing is a challenge (aka pain). Great question. I agree that it does read more as horror for women with a 'men, check your wives' edge but is that because we only really get Joanna's (& to a point Bobbie's) view? I have not quite figured Levin out. 😉 (edited) 2y
Leniverse My library copy of the book had an intro by Pala...chuck... guy who wrote fight club. He was full on “Levin warned us already in the 60s! Today women turn themselves into Stepford wives with plastic surgery and Mad Men 50s revival. But it‘s ok because they choose it themselves of their own free will, right? Have we learned nothing?!” 2y
Cinfhen At first I thought this was a wake up call to women but I realized in 1971 the feminist movement was already having its big surge! I think Levin really believes men are evil and they are not going to go down without a fight @peaknit @Pamwurtzler @mabell @DebinHawaii @Leniverse Even though it‘s called Stepford Wives, it‘s the men who are really drive the story. Although obviously it‘s ultimately Joanna‘s story (edited) 2y
CoffeeAndABook Great question!! I was thinking that it was meant as a warning to society as a whole, to find new solutions before women‘s lib turns into a scary situation for both genders. That even a „Walter“ might feel threatened, overburdened or simply lazy at some point & rather have a Stepford Wife. I‘ve been noticing so many poignant moments these past days where it‘s become apparent we still haven‘t found all the solutions!!! 2y
Librarybelle I think it‘s a warning to both men and women. It‘s the idea of the 1950s housewife versus the 1970s liberated woman. Women - be careful what you say, as your husbands may not be happy. Men - watch your wives and remind them duties at home far outweigh social injustice. Very simplistic explanation, but there are only so many characters! Good question! 2y
Bookzombie If he wrote it as a warning, I lean toward it being a warning to women. I think he is commenting that there are men not that are not on board with the feminist movement. Or even men who say they are but when given the choice to have the perfect housewife, choose that over their wive‘s freedom. I‘m looking at you, Walter!!! 2y
bookandbedandtea As I read, it felt like a warning to women. That no matter how liberated we are (and by the 70s we were quite liberated) our freedoms, and even our lives, can still be taken away by man with resources. 2y
SledgeReader I think @CoffeeAndABook is on to something with a warning to society as a whole. The obvious direction towards women‘s lib etc is clearly the outer story. I‘m also getting vibes towards conformity and history repeating itself. Chapter 3 totally flipped me out! 2y
Cinfhen Really good points @CoffeeAndABook @Librarybelle @Bookzombie @bookandbedandtea @SledgeReader this book still feels VERY relevant in 2018! 2y
GripLitGrl Great question! i think it was a warning for both sexes. Old fashion Men will always try to stay in control & want that fantasy June cleaver wife. Women must fall into that trap though stay smart & vigilant to being opressed. Sadly it still very true today. 2y
Mdargusch I can‘t decide, it can definitely go either way. But I agree with @Mabel, to the men - “be careful what you wish for” 2y
Reviewsbylola I‘m having trouble deciding too. As I was reading, it felt like the women were the ones being warned, but now that I am more removed I could see both sides. 2y
asiriusreader I love this question! Hadn‘t even thought of it as a potential warning to men. As I read, it felt like more of a warning to women (totally agree with what you said @Bookzombie ! Walter...😡). I have a feeling most men do not feel the same sense of horror reading this as most women ... but could be totally off case! Having just recently read The Handmaid‘s Tale, this seemed like another cautionary tale for women...do not take our gains for granted! 2y
erzascarletbookgasm Definitely felt like a warning to women while reading the book. I can see now it‘s meant as a warning to both gender. 2y
Cinfhen @KarenUK I just woke up and realized I didn‘t tag you!!!!! Sorry!!!! Please join in 😘 2y
Cinfhen I hadn‘t thought about the HandMaid‘s Tale but good point @asiriusreader and I do think this was really a warning to society...Evil lurks in mankind ~ such good stuff @Mdargusch @Reviewsbylola @GripLitGrl @erzascarletbookgasm 2y
batsy Agree with the comments above. I feel like the book is also a commentary about how suburban life & the valorisation of the nuclear family can isolate married women in negative ways... A kind of horror story about the changing norms of society back then. The push from city living to suburbs is a vast topic but I guess Levin was focusing on how it can isolate people from each other & the harm that could do to homemakers & married women, especially. 2y
batsy @Bookzombie So true! Walter's transformation, which Joanna could maybe intuit but couldn't intellectually acknowledge or put into words, maybe, was one of the more anxiety-causing things of the book for me. So chilling. 2y
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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I‘m so glad I put down the vacuum and joined the #stepfordsummerparty! It was such a great read. I have to admire how efficient Levin was in his narrative. The story was effective, and from a 2018 perspective, rather amusing. I especially liked those trips to the supermarket, with all the languid shopping and “gliding along as if they never sweated”.

Cinfhen Awesome photo, review and a great addition to our party 🎉 😘 getting ready to post discussion questions 2y
CarolynM "Efficient" is an excellent way to describe the narrative❤️ 2y
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batsy So true about Levin's narrative efficiency! Love the photo 😁 2y
asiriusreader Great review! Loved joining in on the party! 2y
BookBabe Swell review! 😁 2y
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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That was terribly entertaining!😂 I think I‘ll go have a glass of Tang, for the full 70‘s experience. So glad I joined @Cinfhen and gang for the “kaffee klatch” of #stepfordsummerparty #buddyread

Cinfhen Yay!!! Join us later today for the actual discussion!!! 2pm EST 2y
Reviewsbylola I know, so much fun! 2y
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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So much of this has seeped into pop culture that you can reference it without even having read or watched it. And for good reason. This was a quick, taut, & tense read, told in clean, straightforward, pulpy prose. About midway through I began to understand why it's seen as horror; that famous Atwood quote, "Women are afraid that men will kill them" is taken to its dystopic, horrifying conclusion. Pitch perfect thriller about male supremacy.

Cathythoughts I agree ! A great read , I‘m so glad I read it 👍🏻... very different from the Nicole Kidman movie/version. A real thriller. 👍🏻and yes thankyou @Cinfhen ! This was a great experience in many ways (edited) 2y
mabell I completely agree with your "clean, straightforward" - I think that is what made it ever more frightening! 2y
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CarolynM Great review, you've got the very essence of it.👏❤️ 2y
britt_brooke Nice photo and review! I read this several years ago and wasn‘t a fan, but I think I need to reread it again. I‘m a different reader now. 2y
Cathythoughts Yes ! Echoing @CarolynM you totally got it ! Great review 2y
Mdargusch Wonderful review! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 I totally agree with everything you said! 2y
erzascarletbookgasm So well said, great review! 👌👏👍 P.S. I‘ve just finished ironing a few shirts before reading this. 😄 2y
batsy @Cathythoughts @mabell @CarolynM @Mdargusch Thank you so much, it was so great reading it with you guys and seeing what everyone thought of it 💜 2y
batsy @Cathythoughts I haven't watched both film adaptations and I'm looking forward to checking both out and seeing how it's different 👍🏽 2y
ElishaLovesBooks Wonderful review! And the iron in the picture is 👌 2y
batsy @britt_brooke Thank you :) And I hear you, sometimes even books I read last year strike me in a different way if I happen to page through them now. 2y
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm Thank you! And I love the IRONy of this (haha sorry, I had to 😂😂) 2y
batsy @ElishaLovesBooks Thank you! :) 2y
GripLitGrl Fantastic review👍 well said🙌 2y
GatheringBooks perfect image! :) haven‘t read this one yet. 2y
Leftcoastzen Wonderful review!I need to read it. 2y
Cinfhen Perfect review!! And awesome photo!! So glad you joined the party 😃 2y
RealLifeReading Such a great review! 2y
batsy @Cinfhen Thank you 😘 Thanks for doing the group read; I'm really looking forward to more of Levin's work. 2y
asiriusreader Perfect review! Couldn‘t have said it better myself! 2y
batsy @asiriusreader Thank you for your kind words :) 2y
rohit-sawant Terrific review! Can't wait to start with this! 2y
batsy @rohit-sawant Thank you! I hope it's a good read for you. 2y
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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Scary stuff.

How frightening to doubt your spouse's intentions - shouldn't your spouse be the one person you trust and who loves you unconditionally? (Other than your mother, of course)

How frightening to doubt yourself. Is it really happening, or is it all in your mind?

A quick read that goes beyond questioning mind-boggling anti-feminism, to raising questions of how we view and treat our significant others.

mabell I barely passed the #stepfordsummerparty quiz @Cinfhen ! 😅😂 2y
GatheringBooks sounds like gaslighting to me. 😍📚 2y
Cinfhen Ha!! About the quiz but astute observations about this novel!! Great review, don‘t forget discussion today 2pm EST😘 2y
mabell @Cinfhen I can't wait! 😁 2y
mabell @GatheringBooks I was unaware of the term gaslighting, but looking it up, it is interesting to think about the plot in that light! 2y
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Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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#StepfordSummerParty Day3! We‘ve covered 70s food & fashion, now it‘s music ☮️ These are my 10 (plus 2) favorite songs of the 70s, in no particular order! ❤️🎧 🎶

@Cinfhen You weren‘t kidding about “there are soooo many!!!” It was really hard to whittle this list down to 10 (and I even had to include 2 bonus songs! Lol) 😂 When I started, the whole list was Elvis! 🕺🏻

Cinfhen Hahaha 😂😂since I posted yesterday, I‘ve discovered I left out about 20 titles, maybe 30! I need a do over! I can‘t believe no one else mentioned Elvis 🕺 🤯😱 2y
Cinfhen I always thought Bridge was Simon & Garfunkel 😲didn‘t know it was a remake of an Elvis song 2y
TK421 Great list! 2y
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mabell Nice list! And great graphic! 2y
Bookzombie Yay for Conway Twitty! Great post! 2y
BookBabe @Cinfhen Actually, it‘s Elvis who remade the Simon & Garfunkel song 😛 But although I love their original version, I love Elvis‘ more. There‘s only one song I ever heard him do that I didn‘t think was better than the original artist‘s recording. 2y
BookBabe Thank you! ☺️ @TK421 @mabell @Bookzombie YES! Conway is awesome! 🙌🏻 My favorite song of his is “It‘s Only Make Believe” ❤️❤️❤️ 2y
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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#StepfordSummerParty I happen to love,love,love Van Morrison! Moondance, Gloria, and Brown-eyed Girl are my faves and I still try to listen to them in the car- if the kids don‘t complain too much about my “oldies” music.🙄 I also really like American Pie and still know most of the words! So much good music 🎶 from the 70‘s that it was hard to choose!

Cinfhen Brown eyed girl was featured heavily in my daughter‘s Bat Mitzvah video montage 😂😂💗 such a great song!!! And American Pie & Cats in the Cradle remind me of summer camp! So does Silly Love Song #memories 2y
ElishaLovesBooks @Cinfhen They are all such good songs! Only one of my kids has brown eyes like me so it‘s our special song! 👀♥️ 2y
mabell So many 70s songs I forgot about! ❤️ 2y
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JHSiess I can sing them all & not mess up the lyrics. They're engrained in my gray matter 2y
batsy What @mabell said! You guys have me playing all these wonderful tunes on Spotify 💕 2y
ElishaLovesBooks @JHSiess I know! I wish I could remember stuff like that now! @mabell So many! @batsy Yay! I bet it would make such a good playlist! ♥️ 2y
SledgeReader Oh the memories!!! 👏👏👏 2y
CarolynM How can I have not thought of Van Morrison? Love him❤️❤️❤️ 2y
Bookzombie I love Van Morrison! American Pie is such a great song too! 2y
Cathythoughts Van the Man ! How could I forget him .... & @Bookzombie I love American Pie , I sing it to my little granddaughter- she knows almost all the words now. Great song ! 2y
Mdargusch Great choice! ❤️ 2y
ElishaLovesBooks @CarolynM @SledgeReader @Cathythoughts @Mdargusch It was a great trip down memory lane 😍😊 2y
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Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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Happy Saturday Y‘all! I‘m looking forward to a great rehash tomorrow! Here‘s my 70s music. I missed the photo post yesterday 😕So sorry! Great news though! My daughter @Searcysledge gave me another Canva lesson tonight! Woohoo!

BluestockingDuchess Such awesome music in the 70s! 🎸 2y
batsy Nice selection! Sister Sledge 💜 2y
DebinHawaii Great list of seventies artists! 😍🎼 2y
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mabell Boston! ❤️❤️❤️ 2y
Cinfhen Brilliant list!! Agreeing with all the ladies above 👆🏼 2y
Cinfhen BTW: graphics look amazing! 2y
Cinfhen Nice job @Searcysledge 🙌🏻 2y
Bookzombie This is great list too! Love Bob Seger! 2y
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Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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I had to post again. Tonight I‘m at a concert for the 70‘s group - The Little River Band. More memories. How fortuitous!

Reviewsbylola Damn, we‘re really missing out! 2y
Pamwurtzler Oh wow I love the Little River Band! 2y
Lmstraubie Enjoy! 2y
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CarolynM Wow, I didn't know they were still playing together. Reminiscing is such a great song, and highly appropriate for this party! 2y
DebinHawaii Too fun! 🤗 2y
batsy So fun! Enjoy 🎶 2y
ElishaLovesBooks Fun!! 😎 2y
mabell I hope it was a great time! ❤️ 2y
Cinfhen Best way to spend a Sat night and I‘m pretty sure @Pamwurtzler mentioned them yesterday as her top 3 bands!!!! 2y
Mdargusch I guess none of the members now are original, but boy, they sure sounded like the original band. @Pamwurtzler @CarolynM (edited) 2y
Cathythoughts 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2y
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The Stepford Wives | Ira Levin
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Growing up and still today I enjoy the music of the 70s and 80s. ABBA, Jim Croce, Don McLean. Janis died October 4, 1970 so I am including her in the #stepfordsummerparty Back in college I would go into the ceramics studio in the wee hours and crank up her music.

Reviewsbylola Janis had killer style. 2y
Bookzombie Janis is a great pick! I thought about Don McLean too. (edited) 2y
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ValerieAndBooks She died on my fifth birthday 😮! Didn‘t know that. 2y
BluestockingDuchess @Bookzombie love American Pie! 2y
BluestockingDuchess @ValerieAndBooks I am also an October baby 2y
DebinHawaii Great picks! 😍 2y
batsy Love Janis. Didn't realise she had passed on before the 70s even begun... 2y
DebinHawaii @ValerieAndBooks And three days before my fifth birthday! I didn't realize how close our birth dates are! 😲 2y
mabell Birthday twin! @ValerieAndBooks 😁 When is yours @GeorgiaPeach ? @DebinHawaii fellow October baby! 🙌 2y
Cinfhen The 27 club 😢😢😢 2y
BluestockingDuchess @mabell it is the 21st 2y
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