Books: Ladies in Retirement

THE STEPFORD WIVES by IRA LEVIN 145 pages. Random House. $4.95.

Unspeakable changes in personality occur almost overnight among wives soon after they move to Stepford. With mingled horror and disbelief, Joanna, the heroine of this minor movie in hardback form, questions the ten-year-old son of a woman friend who has been thus mysteriously afflicted.

"I—I can't get over the way your mother's changed," says Joanna. "Neither can I," the boy replies.

"She doesn't shout any more, she makes hot breakfast." Taxed directly with her bizarre behavior, the poor woman whines, "It's no disgrace to be a good homemaker."

Those of us who are not...

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