The instant I opened up the introduction to The Awakening I was warned that I had my hands on a controversial book. So controversial in fact that the widowed Kate Chopin made almost no money off of it even though she had children to support. The really controversial thing was that it was feminist and included a wilful woman doing what she wanted. Okay then.
I totally get how this work could have been controversial when it was published and sure we still leave in a world where the Planned Parenthood is a controversial organization rather than a really obvious basic service but I didn’t really feel the controversy. I guess I have over a hundred years of feminism to thank for that (and THANK you). What I really got out of this book was that Chopin is a talented writer and captured the spirit of New Orleans in the late 1800s. It’s too bad everyone was too distracted by the controversy to see the book for what it is (beneath all the feminist stuff), which is well written and interesting. I liked the way she captured French culture and used characters. You should read The Awakening for Chopin’s talent. And the crotchety friend who is kind of like Cassandra Edelstein in Saved (also known as Jew Girl for those who have seen Saved fewer times than me). But mostly for the talent.