When the elliptical new drama teacher at Stellar Plains High School chooses Lysistrata as the school play-the comedy by Aristophanes in which women stop having sex with men in order to end a war-a strange spell seems to be cast over the school. Or, at least, over the women. One by one throughout the high school community, perfectly healthy, normal women and teenage girls turn away from their husbands and boyfriends in the bedroom, for reasons they don't really understand. As the women worry over their loss of passion and the men become by turns unhappy, offended, and above all, confused, both sides are forced to look at their shared history, and at their sexual selves in a new light.
Not bad, but a little disappointing. I've heard a number of rave reviews about Wolitzer's books the last couple years so when I came across this one at a recent book sale, I thought I would finally give one a go. I was intrigued about the tie-in with the Greek play Lysistrata. With the mention of "a mysterious spell" coming over a town, I don't know... I guess I was thinking it might have something like Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic to it. The story's not bad, really -- I mean, it's written well enough, there IS a sort of charm to the writing style itself. The beginning was promising, but it wasn't too long before I realized I was getting bored with the story. There was potential here to have some great dark humor worked in but the characters just came off as whiney and flat. Also, something about the ending felt a little weak to me.