It s taken me a few days to get my thoughts together to write what I hope is a usual review I want to start by saying I think this book is worth reading It s bringing about important discussions, I ve had some really great ones with a few bookstagram friends but I also think it s important to have the right expectations going in I was excited to read what had been buzzed about as a juicy expose on female desire This book has been marketed as the next great feminist book based on 8 years of research on women s desire To me, that meant an inside look at what women are really thinking and feeling about desire Plus, I expected to read about female empowerment surrounding desire None of this happened for me In my opinion, this was a firsthand look at the effects of past trauma on three women, told in a narrative structure that brilliantly allowed the women s voices to take center stage The three women s stories Maggie, Lina, and Sloane were unflinchingly honest and raw in emotion, detail, and tone and I empathized with each of them at different points It was jarring to see some of my own thoughts reflected at various times However, I found myself only invested in Maggie s story which was heartbreaking on so many levels As the book progresses, I think it s important for readers to understand that all of these women had dealt with childhood adolescent traumas including rape and it felt to me that what I was reading was how the effects of that trauma continued to impact each woman years later and not in positive ways To me, their desire was not empowering at all In fact, I finished the book feeling somewhat depressed and frustrated about what I had just read So much was left unsaid and unresolved I applaud the bravery of each woman who told her story I have no judgement toward any of their choices In the end, I feel like the marketing of this book was misleading and it skewed my expectations Why I love it by Lisa TaddeoRecently over drinks I asked a friend, What s the last book you read that you just couldn t put down Without hesitation, she answered, Three Women Now, I m not usually a nonfiction reader and I have a stack of half read memoirs to prove it but with this book, I have to agree with my friend Three Women sucks you in from the very first page After all, who would pass up a voyeuristic glimpse behind the bedroom doors or in some cases, the classroom or car doors of three real women Lisa Taddeo spent eight years and thousands of hours with the women profiled in Three Women, and she gives a shockingly vulnerable account of their sexual histories and innermost desires There s Maggie, a 23 year old in North Dakota involved in a court case against the high school teacher she had a physical relationship with as a minor Lina is an Indiana housewife in a loveless marriage, embarking on an affair with her high school sweetheart Finally, there s Sloane, a glamorous 40 something in Newport, RI, who has sex with other men while her husband watches.Despite having little in common with any of these women on the surface, I found a great deal of power and resonance in the depiction of their emotional lives and motivations Who among us can t relate to the fear of being alone or the desire to be loved even by someone who isn t exactly perfect It s this emotional universality that has me predicting this book will be the nonfiction read of the summer.Read at Desire As We Ve Never Seen It Before A Riveting True Story About The Sex Lives Of Three Real American Women, Based On Nearly A Decade Of ReportingIt Thrills Us And Torments Us It Controls Our Thoughts, Destroys Our Lives, And It S All We Live For Yet We Almost Never Speak Of It And As A Buried Force In Our Lives, Desire Remains Largely Unexplored Until Now Over The Past Eight Years, Journalist Lisa Taddeo Has Driven Across The Country Six Times To Embed Herself With Ordinary Women From Different Regions And Backgrounds The Result, Three Women, Is The Deepest Nonfiction Portrait Of Desire Ever Written And One Of The Most Anticipated Books Of The YearWe Begin In Suburban Indiana With Lina, A Homemaker And Mother Of Two Whose Marriage, After A Decade, Has Lost Its Passion She Passes Her Days Cooking And Cleaning For A Man Who Refuses To Kiss Her On The Mouth, Protesting That The Sensation Offends Him To Lina S Horror, Even Her Marriage Counselor Says Her Husband S Position Is Valid Starved For Affection, Lina Battles Daily Panic Attacks When She Reconnects With An Old Flame Through Social Media, She Embarks On An Affair That Quickly Becomes All ConsumingIn North Dakota We Meet Maggie, A Seventeen Year Old High School Student Who Finds A Confidant In Her Handsome, Married English Teacher By Maggie S Account, Supportive Nightly Texts And Phone Calls Evolve Into A Clandestine Physical Relationship, With Plans To Skip School On Her Eighteenth Birthday And Make Love All Day Instead, He Breaks Up With Her On The Morning He Turns Thirty A Few Years Later, Maggie Has No Degree, No Career, And No Dreams To Live For When She Learns That This Man Has Been Named North Dakota S Teacher Of The Year, She Steps Forward With Her Story And Is Met With Disbelief By Former Schoolmates And The Jury That Hears Her Case The Trial Will Turn Their Quiet Community Upside DownFinally, 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 He Picks Out Partners For Her Alone Or For A Threesome, And She Ensures That Everyone S Needs Are Satisfied For Years, Sloane Has Been Asking Herself Where Her Husband S Desire Ends And Hers Begins One Day, They Invite A New Man Into Their Bed But He Brings A Secret With Him That Will Finally Force Sloane To Confront The Uneven Power Dynamics That Fuel Their LifestyleBased On Years Of Immersive Reporting, And Told With Astonishing Frankness And Immediacy, Three Women Is A Groundbreaking Portrait Of Erotic Longing In Today S America, Exposing The Fragility, Complexity, And Inequality Of Female Desire With Unprecedented Depth And Emotional Power It Is Both A Feat Of Journalism And A Triumph Of Storytelling, Brimming With Nuance And Empathy, That Introduces Us To Three Unforgettable Women And One Remarkable Writer Whose Experiences Remind Us That We Are Not Alone Yawn This book about three damaged women and their sad sex lives was not for me I feel sorry for all of them especially Maggie who was totally screwed but I found the book tedious and pointless Eight years of research for this Three Women tells the story of female desire, not as experienced by all women, but by Lina, Maggie, and Sloane The stories of these women are surprising and thought provoking, and Lisa Taddeo relates them in a book that is as insightful as it is impossible to put down It isn t that these three women speak for all women, but that they speak so clearly, honestly, and powerfully for themselves. This was an interesting one The product of than a decade of research and interviews, this book tells the stories of three women Maggie, a North Dakota woman who, as a teenager, had an affair with her high school English teacher Lina, a Midwestern housewife stuck in a sexless marriage and Sloane, a glamorous Newport restaurateur whose husband likes to watch her sleep with other people Provocative, explicit, and refreshingly frank, Three Women seems to be perfectly timed for our current moment after all, what could be better than a book about female desire and women s narratives in 2019 On a granular, sentence by sentence level, this book is richly told and immensely readable in part because Taddeo has a gift for storytelling and detail, but also because the subject matter creates an unavoidable and at times exhilarating sense of voyeurism although less so in the case of Maggie s story, which is depressing and infuriating than anything Where Three Women fails, however, is in the broader sweep of its narratives and how they relate to each other not only does Lisa Taddeo draw flimsy connections between these women s stories while neglecting substantial through lines, but she also fails to build a compelling argument about what, collectively, these case studies really tell us about female desire I found this book s lack of a clear thesis profoundly frustrating, and for what it s worth, I m not even convinced that female desire alone is that most interesting undercurrent in this book You could argue that, than anything, these are stories of exploitation, manipulation, and disappointment the fraught social, sexual, and gender dynamics that are at play when male and female desires collide and how, perhaps, female desire is too often warped by and forced to capitulate to male desire I don t know there is certainly a lot here, and the fact that Taddeo fails to analyze it in a satisfying manner is ultimately quite disappointing. TLDR I hated this book so much that I m genuinely angry Advertised as a non fiction book about women s sexual desire, I chose this as my Book of the Month pick expecting stories of women exploring what it means to confidently own their sexuality in a Virgin Whore patriarchal society What I got instead were three stories in which women s exclusively hetero sexual encounters were graphically and sometimes awkwardly Cadbury Cream Eggs are ruined for me forever relayed as a backdrop to what was unveiled as their real priority to be desired and approved of by men The women themselves were written in such a way that they felt like caricatures of a real person Maggie, the troubled teen with alcoholic parents, searching for adult approval, taken advantage of by her male teacher who simultaneously struggles academically and is yet precocious enough to ponder life s meaning and psychological emotional complexities Sloane, the rich girl who settles down with the good guy with a fetish with which she is completely uncomfortable but goes along with anyway, until one day she reads 50 Shades and she, I kid you not, suddenly could see the world clearly, deciding maybe she liked the fetish after all Then Lina Oh Lina, small town girl, saddled with Catholic guilt and a sexless marriage, meeting up with an ex she has been pining for since high school to have clandestine sex in the back of her car, even though he repeatedly treats her like sh t Then there are these choice lines When girls are without fathers they look under every manhole cover, and women wait after men leave them.hoping that he will return with a smashed phone, with a smashed face, and say, I m sorry, I was buried alive and the only thing I thought of was youMarry me SERIOUSLY Women just can t be whole without a man around, and we ll sit and pine in perpetuity insert world s most massive eye roll Despite being a woman herself, I can t help but wonder if the author has any respect at all for womenor if she even likes them After all, she did manage to write a book entitled Three Women and somehow make it all about men. Reviewed for The Washington Post, to be published July 9, 2019. This is quite a perplexing book as I m not sure what Taddeo s intentions were She takes three American women and tells their stories of failed love, disappointing marriages, unmet or unfulfilled sexual and emotional needs In some ways the stories are different and, almost deliberately echo themes covered in recent fiction Lina, in a sexless marriage, falls into an affair with her high school boyfriend Maggie is groomed into a sexual relationship with her high school teacher Sloane finds herself introduced to open marriage built around a m nage theme, and recognises herself as a submissive after reading Fifty Shades of Grey And yet, all three have commonalities all three women are essentially unfulfilled all are, to greater or lesser extents, exploited by men Lina and Maggie are desperately pleading for love from married men who call them up when they choose Sloane has a troubled history of anorexia bulimia and despite her seeming assurance, traces early examples of male familial disapproval which affected her adolescence What I found disturbing about the book is a seeming gender essentialism which shows us abject women in thrall to powerful men who control their relationships whether through being unavailable emotionally and physically, sometimes because they re married, or, in the case of Sloane, by a voyeurism which makes her the sexualised object beneath a dual male gaze The overall tone is one of dysfunctional masochism, especially in the cases of Lina and Maggie.It s fascinating to see other women s inner lives but it s also frustrating to see how much pain, misery and lack of agency inhabit these love lives The implication seems to be that whatever happens to level the playing field for women publicly and professionally, there s still an underground struggle for some women who want to be loved in ways that their men and their own choices seem to preclude.Thanks to Bloomsbury for an ARC via NetGalley. Three Women is an intense look at the lives of 3 women, delving into their lives over an 8 year period, where they have been interviewed in their home towns It intrigued me as it was an intimate look at their thoughts and desires, rather like reading someone s diary The 3 women live in different areas, are different ages and social classes, yet they still have the same desires and hopes for the future.I couldn t help love Maggie, Sloanne and Lina and even though they chose paths that I wouldn t have, you are totally drawn into their lives The way these women act in relationships and how the author portrays it in a non judgemental way means you can relate to their stories in one way or another.A compelling book that made me think about how I am in a relationship and how my past has influenced my present choices This book will stay with me for a long time after reading it, as I think about the courage they had in revealing the true essence of themselves and hope wherever they are, they find contentment.If you want something different this is the book for you Beautifully written with its raw honesty, it made me laugh, cry and shout out in despair Every woman should read this book Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review.
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the
- 320 pages
- Three Women
- Lisa Taddeo
- 07 February 2019 Lisa Taddeo