Wolitzer looks back to Aristophanes for her source material and creates a relevant story based on Lysistrata.
First, a mini primer of Lysistrata; Lysistrata is a play written by Aristophanes, originally performed in 411 BC, the plays namesake Lysistrata is a woman who is fed up with the Peloponnese War and organizes a demonstration, specifically a sex strike. Lysistrata convinces the other women of Greece that in order to control men and stop the never-ending war, they must refrain from sex absolutely. Although the other women are reluctant, they eventually agree.
Fast forward to present day, liberal suburban New Jersey where a new drama teacher blows into town and directs the school in a play of her choosing, Lysistrata. A cool breeze passes through the homes and beds of the townspeople and change is in the air.
With ancient Greece as a back-drop, Wolitzer creates a thoroughly modern story of human relationships, taking a close look at what it means to be a teenager discovering sex, a teenager discovering herself, a middle age woman in a happy marriage, another middle age woman in an unhappy marriage and a young professional woman who enjoys not being in a relationship.
Wolitzer spends time with all these characters and their significant others, creating an insightful snapshot of an idyllic suburban town on the brink of a relationship meltdown. Wolitzer expertly uses Lysistrata as a motivating force of nature.
The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer was received for free by Boston Book Bums