The Life & Loves of a She Devil by Fay Weldon Ruth is fat, ungainly and not pretty. Mary Fisher is all the things she is not. Ruth is timid and tries to live according to a litany of 'feminine' traits, including being a dutiful wife who endeavours to make life as comfortable as possible for her husband. Mary writes successful trashy romances and enjoys a string of lovers. When Ruth's husband leaves her for the author, it forces her to realise what she is and, in enacting her revenge, she changes from passive female to she devil. Funny and vicious in parts, Weldon's biggest hit is usually characterised as a 'moral tale'. But what is the moral? Don't love because love is a con and to love is weak? Personality and talent matter nothing if you don't have beauty? Men are shallow? Women are as shallow as men? Women are their own worst enemy? Power is everything? Women need to learn to give themselves permission to stop being 'nice'? It's very much part of the fun trying to work out exactly what the 'moral' is in this deceptively simple story, and it could be any or all of these things – and probably a few more too. And you're left with a sense that even Weldon isn't sure. She seems to throw her arms up in frustration at the way people behave and simply reach the conclusion that, 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em'. Very easy to read, it charges along in Weldon's spare prose, as the she devil heads for her apotheosis. Fun.