This book was written in 1899 and caused quite a stir. Dealing with a woman who is unhappily married and finds love elsewhere, audiences were shocked. Reading this book over a hundred years later, in a time when infidelity is no longer a shocking plotline and couples regularly divorce, does not produce the shock it did years ago, but the deep emotion and lyricism of the writing still resonate deeply. Chopin was known for addressing issues ahead of her time, and this was one of the first books to break the Victorian stereotypes. It was an important book for women, and one of the first that showed a woman putting herself in front of her family. I think every modern woman should read this book. Not just because it's a great story, but also because it is very important to see how far we have come in just over a century.
When first published in 1899, The Awakening shocked readers with its honest treatment of female marital infidelity. Audiences accustomed to the pieties of late Victorian romantic fiction were taken aback by Chopin's daring portrayal of a woman trapped in a stifling marriage, who seeks and finds passionate physical love outside the straitened confines of her domestic situation.Aside from its unusually frank treatment of a then-controversial subject, the novel is widely admired today for its literary qualities. Edmund Wilson characterized it as a work "quite uninhibited and beautifully written, which anticipates D. H. Lawrence in its treatment of infidelity."Although the theme of marital infidelity no longer shocks, few novels have plumbed the psychology of a woman involved in an illicit relationship with the perception, artistry, and honesty that Kate Chopin brought to The Awakening. Now available in this inexpensive edition, it offers a powerful and provocative reading experience to modern readers.