Skip to content
Paperback The Stepford Wives Book

ISBN: 0060080841

ISBN13: 9780060080846

The Stepford Wives

Select Format

Select Condition ThriftBooks Help Icon


Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

Save $8.50!
List Price $14.99

1 Available

Book Overview

The internationally bestselling novel by the author of A Kiss Before Dying, The Boys from Brazil, and Rosemary's Baby With an Introduction by Peter Straub 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. At once a masterpiece of psychological...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


This is a thought provoking, tautly written novella. A gem of suspense, it was first published in the early nineteen seventies and in 1975 went on to become a popular movie of the same name, starring Katherine Ross. It was remade again in 2004 with Nicole Kidman in the role previously played by Katherine Ross. The story is very simple but gripping and well written. Joanna Eberhart moves to the seemingly bucolic town of Stepford with her husband, Walter, and two children, leaving behind the dangers of big city living. An independent, assertive, intelligent, and creative woman, Joanna epitomizes the newly liberated women of the nineteen seventies. Looking for like souls with whom to become friends, she seeks out some of the other married women of the town, only to find that they are all uniformly addicted to housework, give their husbands complete obeisance, are made up to the gills, and have figures courtesy of maidenform. Joanna manages to find several like minded women such as herself. Yet, when they, too, become addicted to housework after having a romantic weekend alone with their respective husbands, Joanna becomes convinced that the town's Men's Association has hatched a sinister plot to change all the wives of Stepford into submissive Barbie dolls. Will Joanna manage to escape the fate of the rest of the Stepford wives? Read the book and find out. You will not be disappointed.

"We're in the Town that Time Forgot"

About fifteen years ago, when I was in my mid-teens, I read this novel for the first time and enjoyed the experience. That is why after watching the movie with Nicole Kidman and being thoroughly disappointed, I decided to reread the book and see if I maintained my opinion about Levin's work. The result was that I found the novel to be even better than I remembered it to be, and was amazed by the author's ability to transmit so much in such a short work. He certainly does not beat around the bush! The story begins with Joanna, Walter and their two kids adjusting to their new life in Stepford, which proves not to be an easy task, especially for Joanna. Starting with her neighbor, she starts seeing a disturbing pattern of behavior in the wives of Stepford. For example, Carol cannot come over for coffee because she needs to wax the night! Meanwhile, Carol's husband is out, having fun in the Men's Association. This is the other big thorn in Joanna's side, since she finds out that there are no associations of women in the community, and being a participant in the pro Women's Liberation movement, this is particularly bothersome. But Joanna's search for "normal" women yields some results, and she meets Bobbie Markowe, another newcomer in Stepford who is as desperate as Joanna for finding somebody to talk to. They start to shake things up right away, but without getting very far due to the disinterest of the rest of the women. That is were the suspicions that something is not right start to build up in the two friends, and the novel gains speed and becomes the ride of a life time. In my mind, this work can be interpreted in different ways, and I find that for me it is a psychological thriller in a fantastic setting, which on top of that builds a critique of society regarding how people strive for perfection and the effects this has on our everyday lives. I believe this is what made the book so enjoyable for me all those years ago, and why I found it even better in my adulthood, since now I can see some of the finer points I missed when I was a teenager. The fact that the author writes a story that develops incredibly fast, without giving us respite, allows him to lead us better through this thought-provoking story. I bet that most people will find themselves reading this book in one, maybe two, sittings. For those that have watched the 2004 movie and have never read the book, I urge you to give this work a try and really find out what this story is about. Believe me the experience will be much better that the one you had with the film, and you will not be disappointed.

One of suspense fiction's best authors--an incredible book!

"The Stepford Wives" is a fast read. It's short, it's written lightly, and could easily be read in a day's time, if you had the opportunity to sit down. For that reason, it is easy to dismiss this book as just another light-hearted fiction novel. That would be a grand mistake. "The Stepford Wives" is not just any other suspense novel. In point of fact, it's not even suspenseful anymore, what with the popular remake of the film. What makes this novel stand out--actually, what makes MOST of Ira Levin's novels stand out--is the subtle satirical horror of it all: Joanna Eberhart and her husband Walter move into a new town. Stepford. It has a great reputation, with great schools, a wonderful library, and happy husbands. VERY happby husbands. Because after 4 months, the wives of Stepford change. They go from normal, sometimes even feminist, women, into obediant and submissive housewives. And Joanna's time is rapidly coming... See? It's a suspense novel. It's a science fiction novel. Quite possibly, it's a HORROR novel (ROSEMARY'S BABY, anyone?). Ira Levin is a talented, brilliant author. He combines the fears of ordinary life into a satirical masterpiece that will leave you as disturbed as you are entertained. Brilliant writing.


I have to say that I judged this book by its cover, I was at a bookstore and the cover with the lovely Nicole Kidman caught my eye in a nice in store display for the book. At first I though, oh don't buy it, you'll never read it. Well I found a nice little place to sit and read the first page or so and thought that just maybe I might. Well as soon as I got home I dove right in to this little jem and before I knew it I was on chapter two (chapter 1 is around 90-100 pages). Don't worry, there are a lot of breaks like those three little stars and gaps between paragraphs that provide a good stopping place if you need it.The plot is simple Joanna Eberhart and her husband Walter move from the city (New York is implied) to the town of Stepford, Connecticut, a seemingly utopia. However Joanna becomes restless, the only club in town is a mens only club and all the housewives seem to only want to work around the house. She soon meets a woman named Bobbie Markowe who becomes very close to Joanna and a while later they both meet Charmaine Wimperis a woman who love to play tennis. They meet often and talk about the other wives of Stepford and how 'perfect' they are. Then Charmaine and her husband have a second honeymoon one weekend and when Charmaine returns she has shockingly become like the other Stepford wives, she even turns her beloved tennis court into some sort of golf course. So Joanna and Bobbie begin to look at what could possibly be making these women act like this, they get a big shock when at one point Joanna finds and shares a newspaper clipping that showed that at one point Stepford had a womens club and she later discovers that it seems like every woman in town was at one point the president of this club. Bobbie finally decides that the water is changing the women and it takes four months for the change, so she begins drinking bottled water. Some point later Bobbie and her husband have a 'second honeymoon' and whan she returs Joanna is terrified, Bobbie is like all the other Stepford women. Shocked Joanna begins to research and at one point befriends an African American author of childrens books, Ruthanne Hendry, the only other normal Stepford women. As her research grows deeper and deeper Joanna discovers the truth and when she gets home finds herself on a 'second honeymoon' weekend. There is more to the book, including a chilling ending I won't spoil. Once you know the truth it makes you mad, maybe even a little more than mad. The writing of Ira Levin is nice and easily readable, especailly considering how old this book is and the change of writing styles from the seventies to the current. Everything just flows and he leaves a lot up for the reader to picture. The ending isn't clear cut but most people could figure it out, it's rather chilling really. All in all I really fell in love with this book, I'll definately be returning to it at some point and it has made me want to check out both of The Stepford Wives films. All that is left for me

Short But Potent

Like many of you that have already read this book and like the many of you who right now are searching high and low for a copy will eventually need to do, I scoured the countryside(alright, just library shelves)before I found this modern classic. "The Stepford Wives," short though it may be, is still one of my favorite books. It's a genuinely creepy story written with a feminist touch that you can't help but appreciate. It deals with a young couple who move to the small town of Stepford and hope to become part of its social scene. But when the protagonist's husband suddenly becomes involved with an exclusive and secretive men's club who seek to control their wives in a fashion more sinister than any reader could anticipate, she begins to fear for their safety. Through time, the term "Stepford Wife" has become a pop culture reference, and deservedly so. I'll let you have the satisfaction of finding out why.

The Stepford Wives Mentions in Our Blog

The Stepford Wives in 10 Notable Books Turning 50 This Year
10 Notable Books Turning 50 This Year
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • January 06, 2022
It’s always fun to commemorate literature that withstands the test of time. And 1972 was a big year for noteworthy reads. Here are ten memorable books, for all ages, marking the big 5-0 this year and some notes on their significance.
Copyright © 2022 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured