Maggie has an underage affair with her schoolteacher and later testifies against him at his trial for statutory rape, for which she is shunned by her local community.
A new book studies the desires of three women over eight years. Do their stories reflect our own?
Lina is gang-raped in her teens and consequently ostracised by her peers, which brings her relationship with her sweetheart, Aidan, to a premature end; years later, after enduring a decade of a largely sexless marriage, she reconnects with Aidan and has an adulterous affair with him. Sloane sleeps with other men in front of her husband, an arrangement that suits both parties until, one day, she is confronted by the distraught wife of one of their partners; racked with feelings of shame and remorse, she reflects on her strained family history and its formative influence on her psycho-sexual makeup.
She has childlike energy and laughs easily. Only in retrospect does she achieve clarity: she had been little more than a plaything to him, an ego-trip. She graduated from one of the best private schools in the country. She was strategic, clean, informed. Picnic baskets in the trunk of a Range Rover. Twins with Peter Pan collars. The word ecru. Saint John. Christmas in Aspen.
Each one of these tales might, individually, have made for a compelling memoir in its own right. By pulling them together in this way, Taddeo invites us to view them collectively, as part of a single, composite entity. To what end? We can make each other feel dowdy, whorish, unclean, unloved, not beautiful. Maggie and Lina are both slut-shamed by other women, and Sloane has shunned same-sex support systems and tethered her self-esteem to male approval.
All three women are isolated and vulnerable. Three Women handles its subject with far more sympathy and insight than we would get in a commercial misery memoir, but it is not entirely free of some of the unattractive traits associated with that genre: the very nature of the book presupposes a degree of prurience and condescension.
Houman Barekat. Sat, Jul 20, , First published: Sat, Jul 20, , More from The Irish Times Books. Sponsored First-time buyers' event puts Cork on the map with record number of new schemes. All Maggie wanted was to be understood. How did she end up in a relationship with her teacher and then in court, a hated pariah in her small town? All Sloane wanted was to be admired. How did she end up a sexual object of men, including her husband, who liked to watch her have sex with other men and women?
Consequences are handed out to some but not to others. Three Women is a record of unmet needs, unspoken thoughts, disappointments, hopes and unrelenting obsessions that tests the boundaries of non-fiction. Toon meer Toon minder. This is a book that blazes, glitters and cuts to the heart of who we are. Taddeo does not sensationalise, but nor is she coy; the narrative crackles with the visceral details of eroticism. Taddeo hasn't just caught a moment, she has spawned a new genre.
I must confess that I found this book almost impossibly compelling.
About Three Women
A non-fiction novel of such recurring darkness, truth and astonishment I will probably re-read it every year of my life -- Caitlin Moran After eight years and an almost-telepathic representation of her three subjects - Lina, Maggie and Sloane - Taddeo has created a book that explores these women's desires and disappointments and, in doing so, has made something so universal it'll knock the breath right out of you. You might find yourself needing to scream into a pillow - it just is that kind of book, the kind that deserves all the hyperbole I'm using right now. It is infuriating, brutal, eye-opening and reaffirming.
Within a day of starting it, I had forced two friends to read it, because it's impossible not to discuss. Moving, immersive, surprising, elegantly written You will love it -- Marian Keyes Extraordinary. I can't remember the last time a book affected me as profoundly as Three Women -- Elizabeth Gilbert Intense and riveting.
These women broke my heart and I won't forget them -- Gillian Anderson I literally could not put it down -- Gwyneth Paltrow [An] instant feminist classic. I've never read anything like it -- Esther Freud I don't say this lightly - the greatest book I've ever read about women and desire -- Rachel Cooke I've not read something so confronting, humane, and brilliant in a really long time.
An outstanding achievement -- Kiran Millwood Hargrave This is one of the most riveting, assured and scorchingly original debuts I've ever read.
I can't imagine a scenario where this isn't one of the most important - and breathlessly debated - books of the year -- Dave Eggers Very special The three stories blend and layer over one another to give a picture of modern gender dynamics that feels rather iconic -- Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett Three Women is painstaking, painful, unblinking, unsentimental and utterly unapologetic -- David Shields, author of 'The Trouble With Men: Reflections on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, and Power' This book will amaze you, for articulating so directly and beautifully the chaotic truths of women's desire It will astound you, for the mastery of its execution, the surprising descriptive language that crops up in between the clean, intellectual reportage This is going to be my non-fiction book of the year -- Jessie Burton Three Women is a battle cry.
The literary brilliance of the book will knock you back. It is as addictive as a thriller, as well as being supremely well-written, intelligent and insightful -- Elizabeth Macneal Three Women is the new required reading for women and any person who wants to know them. Truly, exquisitely, remarkable It's going to be deservedly massive -- Holly Bourne One of the most exciting debuts I've read in years; the writing is muscular and addictive.
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Read this book. You will forever rethink the erotics of women -- Esther Perel Three Women allows women to say what they would normally keep hidden. Mostly it reads like a thriller: unputdownable The testimony on offer here is extremely gripping Who will defend them? The answer is American author Lisa Taddeo, whose book Three Women restores dignity, agency and humanity to her belittled subjects, all of whom have been rendered vulnerable by passion.
Lisa Taddeo spent eight long years researching and writing Three Women, but you'll likely race through it in a couple of days. There is an emotional honesty to the book that is sometimes almost painful to read.
‘Three Women’ Book Review – Lisa Taddeo
These are stories about yearning, thwarted and corrupted An utterly compelling, scorching piece of reportage Reviews Schrijf een review. JohanvandeSande Hoogeloon 5 september Ik raad dit product aan. Vond je dit een nuttige review? Goede kwaliteit Voordelige koop.
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