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The Women's Room - Marilyn French

(13 Posts)
BeverlyGoldberg Mon 30-Jan-17 13:17:49

This book was recommended to me by a dear friend of mine who is a radical feminist and one of the most intelligent and beautiful people I know. It's been on my to do list for ages.

I have finally got round to reading it and I just can't get into it. I have read the first chapter 3-4 times and it's just not speaking to me.

What are your thoughts on it? Is it worth sticking with? Is it a slow burner?

M0stlyHet Mon 30-Jan-17 13:33:32

I read it a long time ago, and really liked it. It is very much of its period, but I still vividly remember the chapter where, having left work on marriage because that's what women did then, she has a weekly rota of make work - including polishing the silverware in the fancy case given to her as a wedding present, even though they have never been used - in order to stop herself going mad. It's a very tiny snapshot of a very limited social class (and very privileged social class) - but its a story of a woman in a gilded cage, and how even gilded cages are still cages.

GrumpyOldBlonde Mon 30-Jan-17 13:38:12

I read it 30 years ago and it opened my eyes to a lot of things (I was about 18 then), I think I read it 3 or 4 times in all.
I imagine it is rather dated now, but stick with it, I wasn't keen on the early chapters but the characters lives change dramatically as it goes on.
As I say though, it is probably dated and very much of it's time.

Thingirlstuckinfatsuit Mon 30-Jan-17 13:41:57

I love this book, but I do agree it's a bit dated. Unfortunately, we still seem to be facing some of the same issues, which is rather depressing. I would say stick with it.

imthelastsplash Mon 30-Jan-17 13:44:30

Another who loved it when I was 18 - I re-read it a few years ago and it is very dated - it's worth reading though

BeverlyGoldberg Mon 30-Jan-17 20:42:10

Thanks everyone did your thoughts. I'm going to knuckle down and give it another go

BeverlyGoldberg Mon 30-Jan-17 20:42:35


PidgeyfinderGeneral Mon 30-Jan-17 20:49:36

That book pretty much changed my life when I was 18 and a friend gave it to me. It's been on my must-read-again list.

HelenDenver Mon 30-Jan-17 20:53:16

I don't think I finished it. Should try again!

BeverlyGoldberg Tue 31-Jan-17 10:25:55

I'm not fussed about it being dated, it's just one of those books that I've picked up and read the first few chapters a few times and then put down.

I need to make more of an effort with it I guess. I'll start it again and see how I get on.

iamawoman Mon 05-Feb-18 08:20:18

I tead this book several times 20 odd years ago and loved it but i would think it was of its time and quite retro now😀

TheRoadLessRocky Tue 06-Feb-18 00:31:41

It definitely picks up. The first few chapters are confusing with the narrator talking about some women randomly but once she focuses on Mira's life properly I got into it. Only halfway through though so not sure if this style of narrative continues or if it goes back to rambling about various unexplained characters.

BlytheByName Fri 04-May-18 00:11:55

I read this a couple of times in my teens. It definitely radicalised me.
I want to read it again this summer, along with the Little House on the Prairie books!

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