Warning: This review will contain spoilers.
Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
Summary: Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse move into a building they’ve long admired. It’s old, with gargoyles on the outside and a creepy past. The past doesn’t bother the Woodhouses because why should it effect them now? They soon find their neighbors to be rather odd and Guy starts spending a lot of time with them. Rosemary finds herself pregnant much to her delight, but the pregnancy is difficult and she begins to think her neighbors want her baby for a satanic ritual.
Reasons behind picking this book: When I read this prompt I was unsure what I could read that would fit. I’m a new stay at home mom with a four month old baby. I didn’t know any books off the top of my head about stay at home moms. My sister suggested that I read Rosemary’s Baby and gave me her copy to read.
Review: I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. Going in I knew of it but I didn’t really know much else. I knew that it was a horror novel and that Peggy pitches an ad campaign based on the movie in Mad Men. Other than that I knew nothing. I’d never seen the movie myself.
So knowing nothing, I was glad that this book lived up to its hype. I thought it was really well done. Maybe because I felt like my own pregnancy was difficult and scary, I identified with Rosemary for a good chunk of the book.
I had to look up when marital rape was officially a crime, but it wasn’t until mid-seventies that started and it wasn’t until the nineties that it was illegal in all 50 states. So that plus Rosemary’s Catholic upbringing made her reaction to (what she thought was) Guy having sex with her while she was asleep. That made me feel better because I was just like, why aren’t you more upset?
I liked the tone of the book, it was easy to read and even though it was horror I didn’t feel averse to reading it. I was wondering as I read if anyone would consider Rosemary an unreliable narrator. To me I saw how everyone was gaslighting her whenever she felt any legitimate concerns. But, I wonder if it was that clear to everyone? I saw several times where she would be willfully ignorant or talk herself out of thinking what should have been ridiculous thoughts.
I like where the novel ends, leaving you unsure if Rosemary can escape this group of witches or not. The end makes you feel as though, no she won’t and Andy if going to be evil and whatever.
All in all, it was a good book that I really enjoyed and I would be interested now to see the movie.
Recommendation: Horror fans for sure, it’s more nuanced than modern horror though. I feel like this is one of those classics I just never got around to before, so I’m not sure how else to recommend this book.
Up next: No Ordinary Star – A book that’s under 150 pages