Friday, May 29, 2015

What Jessica is Reading: Spinster

I've been meaning to read more books lately (something I fall out of) and Spinster fulfilled that desire as it was such a quick and addicting read.

I have never dreamed of having kids and while I'm not opposed to marriage, it's not necessarily on my to-do list any time soon. I argue with people (mostly older married men with kids) about how I'll change my mind. It's frustrating and took me a long time to realize that I was not alone. This is what brought me to this book.

Kate Bolick explores the topic of being a single woman of a certain age that is neither in a committed relationship or actively seeking marriage. She intermixes her personal experiences with five historical women (also "spinsters") to tell a detailed tale of societal expectations set forth for women. Women are taught at a young age that they grow up, get married, and have kids. When a woman chooses not to follow this path, she is questioned and scrutinized. Even in 2015.

Bolick uses the five historical women as a compelling narrative device that sheds light on the turmoil that women from all decades have faced. It's fascinating to see how women have evolved while society slides into a backwards way of thinking. The five are fascinating women -- some I knew, some I didn't, and some I'm glad that I do now.

Kate is a likable narrator most of the time, but she also seems like a really lucky woman who spent a lot of her adult life self-sabotaging to fulfill some "deeper" meaning. I liked her voice and I liked when she struggled. I, however, wanted her to dig deeper within herself. As well as the culture that she's fighting against. The idea of this book is so strong, but doesn't fully hit its stride until it's almost over.

I devoured this book in a few days, wrote down many of its best lines, and already have a list of friends ready to borrow it. It's definitely an important topic and Bolick writes it well. I only wish that it were longer and more in-depth. I also kind of want to be Kate's friend.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review, however, all opinions are my own.

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