Revenge of Donna Reed

TITLE: THE EROTIC SILENCE OF THE AMERICAN WIFE

AUTHOR: DALMA HEYN

PUBLISHER: TURTLE BAY BOOKS; 304 PAGES; $22

THE BOTTOM LINE: Don't be fooled by the sex; Heyn's analysis sets women back three decades.

Dalma Heyn's study of unfaithful wives begins promisingly with a startling canvass of literature's most famous adulteresses. From Anna Karenina to Emma Bovary, the cheating woman pays a steep price for her unchecked sexuality: she winds up dead. "What if she were your best friend, or your sister?" Heyn challenges. "Would you still need to see her punished?" Heyn, it seems in her opening pages, is going...

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