Dory and Robby have it all. They have been married for years and have a teenage daughter, but they are still very much in love and their sexual attraction hasn’t waned. They both teach at the local high school, where they are highly respected and loved among the kids. Their daughter, Willa, is more introverted but she has recently started seeing her first boyfriend, Eli, who is the son of the new drama teacher.
Mrs Heller, the new drama teacher, decides to put on a production of the ancient Greek play Lysistrata. The basic premise is that Lysistrata forbids the women of her village from having sex with the men until the war they have been fighting in ceases. Once the play rolls into action though, something strange happens–the women involved stop wanting to have sex with their significant others.
We first learn about Dory, who all of a sudden cannot imagine having sex with Robby anymore. Robby is hurt and confused at first, but as days lead into weeks with no sex to be had, he gets more and more angry. And while Dory laments the disintegration of a marriage that was very recently close to perfect, she can’t help how she feels. Little does she know that all the women in town are having the same problem as she.
The Uncoupling gave me so much to think about. Every paragraph gave me something new to digest and carry with me. The scariest aspect for me was the idea of just losing that desire with the person you love. Knowing that the cause was a spell did not abate my frustration at the lack of concern the women showed once they lost their desire. They didn’t seem to care that their relationships were in tatters, which I couldn’t understand at all. You certainly didn’t see any of them having sex just to appease their partners, even if they didn’t want to!
Another minor quibble I had with the book was that a high school would allow a play that so blatantly involved sex to be performed. I know it sounds a bit ridiculous–I mean, the book involves a spell being cast over the women of the community, which is obviously even more unbelievable, but what can I say . . . ?
Lest you think I didn’t thoroughly enjoy this book though, let me be very clear–I thought The Uncoupling was very well written and the themes involved gave me more to think about than any book I have read in a long time. This book is definitely worthy of the praise.
I purchased this book from a book sale.