This is a post in my 50 Nifty series, in which I’m reading through 50 books that embody each of the 50 United States. Find out why I’m doing this and which books I’m reading when (so you can read along) by checking out my first 50Nifty post, or else browse all 50Nifty posts by clicking here!
The Witches of Eastwick, John Updike
Updike’s novel about three women in their 30s and 40s left me alternately cheering on the strength of the female characters and cringing at their actions. Themes of friendship, aging, body confidence, self-reliance, sex, jealousy, and revenge are recurrent throughout the book, addressed sometimes in healthy and at other times in unhealthy ways. The women, all of whom have special powers, have complicated relationships with the men in the novel, and for all their talk of not needing men at all, it’s a little discouraging to see how much time the women devote to worrying and thinking about them.
Regardless, though, this was a great pick for the 50Nifty list on many levels. It was full of descriptions of the landscape, and the talk of the coastal lifestyle. That coupled with the history of witchcraft on the east coast made it a great choice for Rhode Island.