17 July 2017

The Uncoupling Book Club: Week 3


So this is where we start to get a little more familiar with Leanne as a character, and we see how anti long-term relationships she is. I didn't really find her that interesting, but I like how she seemed to approve for Fran Heller's long-distance marriage. I think it will be interesting to see how Fran is effected by the spell seeing as she rarely gets to be physical with her husband since he lives so far away for work.

I was also in a long-distance relationship for two years and found that sometimes it was just the mental stability of having a boyfriends (even though he wasn't physically there) that comforted me most, and allowed me to be so independent with how I spend my time. So I do find Fran's marriage to be something that could potentially be a good idea

So I'm curious to see how Fran is effected ... will she even notice the spell?

I don't know how I feel about this whole "wind" thing ... I would sort of prefer Wolitzer to either explain this spell or have had it so that the women decided themselves to stop having sex. But I did list how Robby has begun to react to his wife's experience ... Like at first he is really bitter / angry / rude, and makes snide comments about getting a hooker or a lap dance. But then he just ends up buying them that Snuggie for two.

Here is my favourite passage from this week's chapters where they imagine how scientists or therapists would explain all these women saying no to sex: "Women who suddenly felt their disappointment, or their rage, or their ambivalence, or their passivity, or their age, or just the withdrawal from love that biology and evolution and chemicals and male inadequacy and female criticism and yet to explain."

Also what Bev's husband says to her is crushing ... this is something that would kill me. This is also an interesting end to the section because Bev reacts differently than the other women ... she feels the "spell" but takes action and tells her husband they will no longer be having sex. Serves that asshole right.


So I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this book because I really don't understand this spell... I wish it was explained better or was for a reason. If there is some feminist undermeaning I'm missing because I'm too dense someone please let me know. Why is it hitting them all at different times?

I really liked the sections about Leanne. I've never been one who longs for promiscuity so I didn't really relate to her for the most part but I did find her interesting. What I can relate to is if I did work at a school, I would definitely be attracted to the principle because I'm always just seeking the uppermost authority in any room. I laughed out loud at her saying once during sex a guy said "oh Leanne you are vindaloo!".

I did really like some of the interactions we see between the females in this section. For example, "you might tell a friend some details, but of course you would always carefully choose which ones to reveal and you would tweak them in some vain or self-protective way." As a disclaimer- all my friends in this book club I tell everything to even when its super shitty, but I definitely DO have friends where I adjust the details in what I'm saying. I don't like the judgement that comes with the honest truth from them. For Meg, Ally and Marijke in this book club who I talk to on a constant basis throughout the day, I never change the details (now, there was a time when I did, never with Meg actually we just kind of melted into each other one day)... I have more of a "well this is me judge away" approach now with those three which is honestly such a load off your back...

I really noticed the narrator a lot in this section. It seems to take on the personality of whoever we're discussing. For example when Robby says to Leanne "great you made it" and the narrator says "as if she'd travelled far on snowshoes"... I think this sarcastic tone reflects Leanne but it wasn't her dialogue. I also love the narrator's view of Bev Cutler and how all the other women vowed never to let themselves go like her.

In terms of the male-female relationships this week, I was disguted at Gavin telling Leanne if she broke it off he'd "lose it". Do guys HONESTLY THINK that's gonna make women go, "oh, ok, better not"??? I dated a guy who flipped out when I ended it. We hung out for like 2 months and he kept saying I "owed him" repeated phone calls and such to talk about it... HOW DO GUYS THINK THIS WILL CHANGE OUR MINDS??? Note to men: you can't threaten a girl back into liking you.

My favourite quote from this section is "to have a husband who was disgusted by you was unbearable". I felt very sad for Bev this section but I also felt sad for Robby. Dory's comment about his hands and then his immature comment back was so depressing... imagine your marriage turning into that and nobody knew why?


  1. I was glad when this section started off with Leanne. I enjoyed learning more about her, and especially enjoyed that this spell was the catalyst for her breaking up with the principal.

    I will echo both Meg’s coments - the spell concept is strange. I think it would have made more sense or been more intriguing had all the women actively chosen to refrain from sex. Or if there was a true meaning and method behind the spell. Instead it’s just a confusing element to the plot.

    When we get the low down on Dory and Robby, I couldn’t help but really resent Robby for the way he handles the situation. I feel like he’s being such a dick, and I hated his sarcastic and snide comments about the lap dances and hookers. I hope that in my life, my partner treats me with a little more compassion and patience when I’m going through an unexplained crisis. I guess it’s hard because there’s no reason here and it’s confusing and upsetting to them both… but still, I think he could handle it better – especially given all the praise he gets in other circumstances for being such a stand up guy. I expected more from him.

    And poor Bev, but good for her – I liked the way she ended the section by taking the decision into her own hands and blowing up the ‘victim’ label.

    I’m wondering how this will continue. On one hand I’ve liked the book, I’ve enjoyed some of the characters and some of their relationships. On the other, the spell concept has been weird and poorly executed. So I’m wondering if the story will end and we’ll all understand better what the point behind the spell was. Or if will end and everyone’s life’s will have been changed by it and it will just be a confusing mess. I’m intrigued to find out.

    1. Oh man guys. Im happy we're all on the same page about how lame and poorly executed the whole WIND idea was. I appreciate more seeing how everyones situations differ and how a number of different factors can lead to women being on a little sex strike.

      I was super shocked at Bevs reaction to take control. You go girl! I would for sure have played the victim for years if that were me.

      I was also really mad at Robby when he went through his bitter/sarcastic/mean phase, and am super happy it was over and he tried out the snuggy. I think its cute that he's trying different things for them to feel close again and isn't entirely giving up. I do feel like the story went from Dory not wanting to have sex to Dory thinking that they weren't in love anymore way too fast. I wasn't ready for her to be thinking like that so soon.

      Lastly, I was also outraged when the principal said ILL LOSE IT. No one owes him anything! Not his poor sick wife at home or his side chick (as much as I like Leanne haha). Apologizing to someone because your wife showed up... ick. What a loser.

    2. (1) Agreed on the wind thing. Is there a witch? Do we care? Does the wind turn warm and return libidos? I'm struggling with trying to figure out the wind and I don't like it.

      (2) Bev's retaliation only seemed like a good start to me. People seem to notice she hates being fat, so is her removal of sexual drive going to fuel the drive for her to return to the version of herself that she loved? Or is she going to take on her new body as a new source of confidence. To me, Bev has the capacity to become a cool character.

      (3) I'm agreeing with Meg (below). Robby was basically cast out of the bed and out of Dory's head. And when she said he had hands like a Madonna, he'd never heard her say this sort of thing before. But she's thought that many times. That moment to me really highlighted that Dory and Robby may only think that they have a completely open relationship. When she said that for the first time after they stopped having sex, it felt to me like kicking a man when he's down. I constantly find myself asking, "What is Robby thinking when she did that?" And we don't know because he won't say because they aren't talking honestly, and maybe they never really did.

      (4) I actually liked the principal. Obviously he's not a super dude, but he needed Leanne, and I think it was obvious with the hummus scene at the end of that chapter (which I loved). But the vicious part of me also loved that Leanne was hit by the spell and tore it all down immediately. Even with an external force changing her mind, Leanne does things 100%. I like this in other people, not necessarily in myself.

  2. I wasn't really ever that pissed with Robby I think he's trying the best he can. Especially when as far as we know Dory hasn't even had a sincere conversation with him about what's going on, at least talk about it no? He deserves that.