Aging. John Updike’s new novel, The Widows of Eastwick, is a sequel to his 1984 novel, The Witches of Eastwick. Alexandra, Jane and Sukie are older, slower, and remain true to the personalities readers met in the earlier novel. Updike begins this novel slowly with the widows traveling to Egypt and China. The pace increases when they agree to see what it would be like to return to Eastwick, Rhode Island. These women and the town have both mellowed, and as the memories and guilt of their lives in Eastwick increase, the three decide to try witchcraft again to right their past wrongs. Not everything works out as planned. Updike’s prose can become mesmorizing on these pages, a spell in and of itself. While few may rate The Widows of Eastwick as his finest work, it’s a welcome treat.
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