Review: The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin



For Joanna, her husband, Walter, and their children, the move to beautiful Stepford seems almost too good to be true. It is. For behind the town’s idyllic facade lies a terrible secret—a secret so shattering that no one who encounters it will ever be the same.


I read this novel as my BookBum Club book for June! Check out this page to find out more about my very own Book Club!

I never normally read a lot of one author’s work, unless I feel there is something exceptional there. Last year, my favourite book was Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin, so I instantly wanted to pick his work back up again, but I got side-tracked. Finally, thanks to the wonderful Inside My Library Mind, I’ve picked up my second book of his, and wow, whaddya know? It’s another 5 star read!

I am amazed at the skill of Levin’s writing. He’s one of those authors that doesn’t pepper his novel with the unnecessary, it’s very simply written but not in a juvenile way. It’s hard to explain but it’s the like Goldilocks zone for writing. It’s so easy to follow the story with no distractions but riveting enough to keep you interested. I was honestly breathless with fear and tension reading this novel. How is it that Levin could write so simply, yet produce so much emotion in his readers?

Where Shirley Jackson is the Queen, Ira Levin is the King at writing about the mundane with an underlying sense of terror. As this book progresses, and Joanna begins to realise what is happening in her strange little community, there is a slow creeping sense of dread that comes along with it. As you’re both slowly enlightened, your stomach gets hollow with fear.

The story in this novel is one pretty much everyone knows now, so reading this in the current age, the plot twist is predictable. However, you have to give Levin credit for basically inventing the creepy neighbourhood vibe that’s so prominent in books nowadays. There’s the twist, and then there’s the ending of this book, two totally different things and both equally as shocking. I love how Levin ends his books.

Spoilers??? While I’ve only read two of Levin’s books, I can already see a trend in his work. Men are the bad guys. This was a really interesting (and dramatic) take on the rise of female empowerment and how it made some men feel in the 70’s.

This is a really short book at just over 100 pages but it was an absolute rollercoaster! This isn’t a classic horror novel, but it’s very psychologically disturbing, similar to Rosemary’s Baby, although I feel like that one was more terrifying. I really cannot recommend picking up Levin’s work enough. He’s definitely a favourite author of mine.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

*Buy it here: Amazon UK | Book Depository | Wordery (cheapest here!)


20 Replies to “Review: The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin”

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