Wow – what a fascinating read. I was drawn to this after hearing several rave reviews, but also because Anna had started reading it and really disliked it; so I was really keen to read it for myself and find out what all the fuss was about. I also love the cover and let’s be honest, that also appealed to me!
Three Women is unlike any book I’ve ever read before. What a debut for Lisa Taddeo! It starts by telling the story of her mother, as a young and very beautiful woman in Italy, receiving unwanted sexual attention as she would walk to work. Lisa can’t understand why her mother accepted this unwanted attention, and it made her wonder about the desire of women in general, and how we relate to men. The book then goes on to tell the explicit stories of three women: Lina, Maggie and Sloane, who have each been monumentally altered from experiences of loving men, and the sexual experiences that arise as a result.
Lina has always been in love with her high school boyfriend, and been unable to engage with her husband.
Maggie was in love with her high school teacher, who was married with a family and crossed the line.
Sloane’s husband likes to watch her having sex with other men.
It’s unusual to experience such in-depth voyerism into the intimate and sexual lives of other women, and it’s genuinely fascinating. At different periods in the book, I felt genuine hope and despair for all three women, hoping things would turn around and they would reach the happy endings they so desired (pun not intended). I also gained a deeper understanding of how the events in each of their early lives led to the situations they each found themselves in as adults; and how hard it can be to overcome neglect, withheld love and disadvantaged childhoods.
This is certainly not a book that will appeal to everyone, but if it sounds of interest to you, I would highly recommend it.
Reviewed by Celeste