THE SEVEN WIVES OF WESTLAKE: Eavesdropping on Women by Enrique Lopez

THE SEVEN WIVES OF WESTLAKE: Eavesdropping on Women

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This book got its start because a man, propelled by curiosity, decided one day to bug his own living room -- to find out what his wife and the other women in the consciousness raising rap group were saying. Hardly an auspicious beginning. Names and locales were changed (Westlake is any affluent suburb) but presumably the reactions -- tears, anger, frustration -- were retained raw. Oh yeah? Trudy, Selma, Ruth, Rachel and the rest sound like broken records. Or straw men. They call each other ""Sweetie""; they're hell-bent on being ""supportive,"" never ""analytical"" (Why? Isn't it ladylike?). And they kvetch a lot. Trudy's husband is a latent homo; Selma's has a ""clitoral phobia"" -- he's an anal-yst. Rachel's is a brute, ""all muscle and no soul."" They hate their kids (sometimes) and praise each other for having the nerve to say so. They resent the careers they gave up to marry. They remember how much they suffered from pimples and oily skin in high school. They're terrified of growing old and wrinkled and menopausal. Between them they've had abortions, hysterectomies, plastic surgery, analysis, lesbian lovers, extramarital affairs, and children normal and handicapped. They keep saying set lines like ""What do you mean by respect?"" They use a lot of four-letter words to feel liberated; Lopez (who assembled the book) has retained them all just to make it sound authentic. None-of it does, no matter what Trudy says in ""a husky half-whisper."" It's just too pat, touching all bases once-over lightly. And banal -- just like all those bored housewife books we've been reading for months and months now.

Pub Date: Nov. 9th, 1973
Publisher: Putnam