Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

The Widows of Eastwick by John Updike

When last we saw our suburban sorceresses — Jane, Sukie and Alexandra — they had married their men, dissolved their coven and dispersed. But now they are old and widowed, and it's time they returned to Eastwick to reckon with their past sins and see what's left of the powers they once wielded. Granted, the witches were always less feminist heroines than they were male fantasies of what feminist heroines would be like if they were sexy and sassy and boy-crazy. Still, Updike chronicles the slow decline of their aging bodies with his usual eldritch precision, and even an unexpected tenderness. With death staring them down, and their precious sex appeal waning, the witches must decide whether to call it quits or gamble on old age bringing a new kind of enchantment.