Friday 28 July 2017


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Earlier this year I read Ira Levin's The Stepford Wives and REALLY enjoyed it. So when the Fiftieth Anniversary edition of Rosemary's Baby was on special, I grabbed it. :)

Just like The Stepford Wives, I know all about this story because I've seen the movie and had heard all about it even before then. And just like TSW, reading RB felt like discovering Rosemary's sad story for the first time. I got swept away instantly and couldn't stop.

Anyway, here are the story basics:

Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse move into a flashy NYC apartment building called the Bramford. This place has a reputation for freaky stuff, but that's not going to keep the young couple away. Guy is a struggling actor always looking for his big break, and Rosemary is the dutiful wife who takes care of the house while decorating and wishing for a baby.

Shortly after meeting their elderly neigbours, Roman and Minnie Castavet, good things start to happen. Guy gets a good part and Rosemary gets pregnant. But Guy spends too much time working or with the Castavets, and doesn't seem all that interested in the baby. The neighbours are very interested, though. Suddenly, they seem to be everywhere--willing to help out with vitamin drinks and good luck charms.

As her pregnancy moves along and Rosemary is constantly feeling ill, she starts to notice that something really strange is going on within these old walls... and she might be at the centre of it.

This story is SO GOOD. It's so well written and gets under your skin so much that the tension keeps building and building until the last word. This book is certainly a classic that I'm glad to have finally read.

I really liked Rosemary and found her to be a lot stronger and smarter than the other characters give her credit for. She's also likeable and her voice sincere. The story was as excellent as the very dark undertones shadowing the narrative all the way through. The other characters--even the pesky evil ones--were also very interesting. Actually, the only character I didn't like was her husband.

Guy is a total a-hole with only one thing on his mind: ambition. The way he treats Rosemary seems to be an extension of his acting career. Which makes what he does to her THAT MUCH WORSE! Still, I had to hate someone, right?

Once again, although this book deals with covens and the devil and other dark things, the true horror is how a woman is used and abused without a second thought. What these people do to Rosemary is despicable and so awful. And that she happens to be a pregnant woman with so much to lose during a time when even her body is out of her control, is chilling.

Although it's a story written so long ago and set in the mid-1960s, it still holds up. The only things I found cringy were the awkward and very dated way of referring to POC, as well as the Husband Takes Care Of Silly Little Wife thing. Luckily, neither of these things were enough to stop me from reading because (unfortunately) these were the attitudes of the time. But as I said above: cringy.

Asides from that, I loved this. It's another thought-provoking story that fills my head with so many thoughts that I'm sure I'll be thinking about this book for years to come.

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