Three Women by Lisa Taddeo Book Review

Tuesday, 16 March 2021



Title: Three Women
Author: Lisa Taddeo
Pages: 386
Publication date: 9th July 2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: non-fiction

About the book
In suburban Indiana we meet Lina, a homemaker and mother of two whose marriage, after a decade, has lost its passion. Starved for affection, Lina battles daily panic attacks and, after reconnecting with an old flame through social media, embarks on an affair that quickly becomes all-consuming.

In North Dakota we meet Maggie, a seventeen-year-old high school student who allegedly has a clandestine physical relationship with her handsome, married English teacher; the ensuing criminal trial will turn their quiet community upside down.

Finally, in an exclusive enclave of the Northeast, we meet Sloane—a gorgeous, successful, and refined restaurant owner—who is happily married to a man who likes to watch her have sex with other men and women.

Based on years of immersive reporting and told with astonishing frankness and immediacy, Three Women is both a feat of journalism and a triumph of storytelling, brimming with nuance and empathy.

Review
I've read reviews and heard opinions about this book that are at both ends of the spectrum and I think that this book needs to be recommended in the right way in order for the reader to fully enjoy it. Luckily for me and prior to reading this book, I had been told by various different people that this was more of a juicy-insight-into-the-sex-lives-of-three-different-women kinda book rather than a deep and insightful observation of female passion and desire. Taddeo definitely took this book down the narrative route rather than the analytical route and, for me, it worked really well and I was hooked from the first few pages.

Three Women is gloriously gossipy and the book you pick up knowing there's going to be heartbreak and scandal. At times, it did come across quite fiction-like and I had to keep reminding myself that this is a work of non-fiction and that the stories being told here are real stories from real woman, which for me, made it even more juicy and thrilling. One thing that really struck me, was how Taddeo managed to give each of the women a distinct voice. The writing is consistently amazing in the sense that each woman's story is told vividly and one story never outweighs the other. Each of the women's stories is captivating and intriguing and leaves you being drawn to these women's lives and wanting to know more.

I was quite concerned going into Three Women that it would be slightly trashy and a bit sleazy, but actually, it's not at all. This book focuses on the thoughts and feelings of these women - even more so than it does the sex. It's a book full of emotions and what these three women are thinking and feeling at these poignant times of their lives. Don't get me wrong, it's definitely detailed enough for you to paint a picture of their sex lives, but it's so, so much more than that. It's about three ordinary women who are trying to figure out what they want from a romantic aspect and because it's so beautifully written, it's not trashy or tacky at all.

If you pick this book up expecting to find a detailed analysis of the unexplained secrets of female desire, you've come to the wrong place and I hate to say that you'll probably be disappointed. What you will find, however, is the story of three women that will keep you both entertained and invested. There are incredibly sad moments, there are moments of adventure and fun, but most of all, there are three normal women who happen to all have different and chaotic sex lives. That's it. And yet Taddeo writes in such a way that will make you want to read on and whilst yes, it is very limited in its capacity and not at all representative of the vast majority of women (which is how it is marketed, which is slightly annoying), it's engaging and fun and a great read.

I do highly recommend this if you're looking for something laid back and full of scandal that reads more like a fiction novel than non-fiction.

Verdict: ★★★★

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