Novel Pairings 2: The Awakening and Feminine Self-Discovery

 

Today Chelsey and Sara are chatting about The Awakening by Kate Chopin. This novella published in 1899 follows Edna Pontellier as she discovers her desires and her identity outside of wifehood and motherhood. Our discussion includes how this book illustrates the constraints placed on 19th century women, why we don’t seem to have any issues with the infidelity in the novel, and how Kate Chopin speaks to modern-day mom-shaming. We also dig into some of the problematic content in this book and offer suggestions on how to read it through a more modern lens.

Plus, as always, we’re recommending six contemporary books to pair with our classic include a young adult novel full of evocative nature imagery and a closed door second chance romance.

 

Sponsor

 

Today’s episode is brought to you by Libro.fm, the only audiobook company that allows you to purchase audiobooks directly from your favorite indie bookstore. You can get THREE audiobooks for $15 by clicking this link or by using code NOVELPAIRINGS at checkout.


 

Books, Pairings, and Time Stamps

 

Books Discussed: The Awakening Modern Library Torchbearers Edition (23:50), Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (30:36), Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (30:38)

 

Chelsey’s Pairings: Educated by Tara Westover (39:45), Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper (44:08), We Are Okay by Nina Lacour (48:40)

 

Sara’s Pairings: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (41:40), Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner (46:02), Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes (50:20)

 

Picks of the Week: Love is Blind (52:35) and Portrait of a Lady on Fire (54:45)