Three Women

Three Women

Book - 2019
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"THIS IS THE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR. This is it. This is the one...It blew the top of my head off and I haven't been able to stop thinking or talking about it since." --Elizabeth Gilbert

"Taddeo spent eight years reporting this groundbreaking book...Breathtaking...Staggeringly intimate." -- Entertainment Weekly

"The most in-depth look at the female sex drive that's been published in decades." -- New York

"A breathtaking and important book...What a fine thing it is to be enthralled by another writer's sentences. To be stunned by her intellect and heart." --Cheryl Strayed

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 reporting

Hailed as "a dazzling achievement" ( Los Angeles Times ) and "riveting page-turner that explores desire, heartbreak, and infatuation in all its messy, complicated nuance" ( The Washington Post ), Lisa Taddeo's Three Women has captivated readers, booksellers, and critics--and topped bestseller lists--worldwide.

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. "A work of deep observation, long conversations, and a kind of journalistic alchemy" (Kate Tuttle, NPR), Three Women introduces us to three unforgettable women--and one remarkable writer--whose experiences remind us that we are not alone.
Publisher: New York :, Avid Reader Press,, 2019
Edition: First Avid Reader Press hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781451642292
Branch Call Number: 306.7082 Tad
Characteristics: x, 306 pages


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I read this book in just a few days. The women were so complex and fascinating. My heart broke with theirs -- that longing for a connection and how different desire is for men and women.

Dec 03, 2019

Somewhat interesting to know other people's private problems but no need to jump back and forth. Just tell each story in order since there is no connection.
Would have been interesting to know the results of the second trial for one of the stories or
if any other women came forward.

Nov 30, 2019

"Sloan was not completely sure he was into only her, that he wanted only her in the world. After all, she wondered, could anyone really feel that way about someone else."

"Sloan didn't want or need a man in that way. But she did want more from life than what it seemed one person could give her."

Ok so I avoided this book through the hype over summer, I really wanted to read it but I have been dissapointed before over overly hyped books.

So on the one hand I found this compulsively readable, hard to put down and when I did I was eager to get back to it. Taddeo's writing is good. Very journalistic and thorough. As for the three women's stories highlighted in this book I only related to the one and only a very small amount. Their stories are very intimate and at times graphic, all heartbreaking and overall very sad.

This book is marketed as a book about female desire. The main takaway for me was that these three women's desires were consistently squashed and swept under the rug. And overall society does this to women and our desires on the regular. That our voices and wants are not heard.
I also wished that Taddeo had put more of herself in these pages. Her story was intriguing but it was too brief for me. And I wish there was more diversity in the women she chose to highlight too.

Overall well written and readable but sad and I don't feel like I learned anything new about human desire, female or male.

ArapahoeKati Nov 25, 2019

I'm not sure what I expected but overall I had mixed feelings. A lot of intimate, personal stories, not as much research into female desire.

JCLBrittanyC Nov 15, 2019

This book left me with so many mixed feelings. The author follows the lives of
three American women for nearly a decade, focusing in on the topic of
female desire throughout their lives. This book has been coined an “instant
feminist classic,” and though I see its worth, I found it to be a bit too graphic.
The detail to which the author describes the experiences in each of these
women’s lives almost masks the entire message of the book. I wish more time
was spent delving into the topic of female desire and how past experiences
and societal stereotypes effect women in all aspects of life. That being said, I
haven’t read anything like this before, and if you are looking to escape to a
perspective much different than your own, give this one a try!

Oct 25, 2019

Great nonfiction book about the sex lives of three different women and their circumstances.

Oct 24, 2019

Such a powerful, beautiful and gut-wrenching book. The negative reviews on here are completely missing the point. This book isn't about making anyone "feel empowered" or "inspired," nor is it meant to titillate, as some reviewers feel it should have. This is a beautifully written character study of three complex human beings, the choices they've made, and how they deal with expectation and disappointment.

I was moved by all three of the stories told in the book, but Lina's was especially heartbreaking. Taddeo writes her so well that I actually feel the disappointment when Aidan sends her a dismissive, one-word text in response to her outreaches. My heart sinks with hers. She wants desperately to feel intimately connected to someone and is so heartbroken by her failing marriage that she's willing to accept a connection with Aidan on his (very shitty) terms.

I want to analyze this book with more depth, but honestly, I just finished it and words largely fail me. I wish I could convey the depth and complexity of Taddeo's three portraits, but I simply can't find the words. I read a lot, and this is the best book I've read in several years. I didn't even feel like I was reading it--it felt like there was just someone inside my head telling me a story.

It's so incredibly rare that the layers of female sexuality are explored in-depth and without judgment by a writer of Taddeo's skill. This book is a treasure. The mark of a truly great book is that it endures and remains relevant over the years. This book will endure. That this is Taddeo's debut is astounding to think about. She may well be a literary powerhouse for decades to come.

Oct 17, 2019

Bizarre. Reminded me of "The Emperor's New Clothes"...what a $*&^%!* mess. Somebody's gotta say it.

VaughanPLKim Oct 15, 2019

I tried to get into this book, but for me it just didn't live up to the hype. I would have liked more insight into why author Lisa Taddeo chose to profile these three specific (white, heterosexual) women. The book didn't offer much analysis or connection between the three stories. At the end it all felt a bit pointless.

JCLLisaA Oct 11, 2019

I have feelings about this book. It’s graphic. Sometimes maybe too much so, though it bothers me I would say that. The subject is clear: female desire. But in truth, there’s nothing clear about desire. We want what we want—or don’t—for reasons we sometimes don’t know, for reasons that stem from harmful situations or events. I guess what I’m saying is that it’s complicated—desire is complicated, sex is complicated, and the implications of sex and how sex affects us throughout our lives is complicated.

The book is flawed in important ways, but the stories that are shared here are interesting, powerful, and important. The graphic, frank accounts of sexual activity weren’t what was interesting to me in this book. Rather, it was the dynamic that became clear: the experiences we have when we’re young, the things that happen to us without our consent, the feelings of joy or lust or inadequacy or shame etch themselves so deeply in our psyches that not only can we not escape, but we seek more, often, as comfort. And sometimes, too often, that comfort is what others judge us for, what sets us apart as “other.”

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Oct 02, 2019

We don’t remember what we want to remember. We remember what we can’t forget.

Aug 06, 2019

Being developed for Showtime

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