The book that introduced me to my beloved Maeve Brennan and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Spinster is equal parts memoir, cultural introduction, history lesson, feminist writing, and social discussion on the new rash of happily unmarried single women. Bolick presents Spinster as her journey to fulfilling her “spinster wish” – to be happily alone in her decisions, ambitions, goals and choices. She enjoys being in a romantic relationship, but feels trapped when she no longer has her independence. She loses her trajectory occasionally when trying to attach different moments in her life to her Five Awakeners – Brennan, Gilman, Edna St Vincent Millay, Neith Boyce and Edith Wharton. Yet, all through, her humour and charm keep the reader interested in her next Awakener, her next nugget, her next inspiring choice. Bolick is a spirited woman and her crossroads feel very real to the reader, in fact, the reader may have faced so many similar choices. My favourite part of the book, all told, was the introduction to some amazing, and at times obscure, female writers. For this reason alone, I recommend this book highly. At 328 pages, including index and the writer’s suggested reading, it is a reasonable length.
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