The Awakening is a classic. A wealthy Southern woman, entrapped in wealthy Southern Victorian conventions, decides to start living for herself and doing what she wants to do instead of what her husband wants her to do or what is expected by society. Not such a shocker these days, but wealthy Southern Victorian ladies just did not do such things. Being a proper feminist, the idea of this book was really quite appealing to me.
Unfortunately, I found the heroine to be utterly inconsiderate and self-involved. I mean, it's one thing to want to break free and build your own life; it's quite another to treat a husband who adores you with indifference and your kids who are sweet and adorable like utter crap. And then to kill yourself in the end because life is so boring if you can't have the man you want because he's too decent to want to cuckold your husband.
I still applaud the general sentiment behind the book, even though I wasn't crazy about the woman. In addition, it made me think about how it might still apply in modern times. I mean, we are clearly way more liberal in our thinking about who can marry whom and about marrying for love. But I still think in some wealthy, high-society circles, there is a lot of pressure to "marry well" and to mate with someone "appropriate" - love be damned. Not having come from any money whatsoever myself, I can't swear to that, but I certainly think that if you're a Kennedy, it will be severely frowned upon for you to marry a regular person.
I'm not sorry I read the book. And I certainly was not bored while reading it. But I won't read it again, and I did not at all like the main character. So take that for what it's worth.