Three Women by Lisa Taddeo has been everywhere. It was one of my most anticipated Summer releases and has been described as the book of the Summer. Words like “extraordinary” and “profound” keep popping up in reviews. My expectations were high. What follows is however an unpopular opinion. Perhaps, the only negative review I’ve seen around. But things are what they are. I didn’t enjoy this book. I didn’t think it was good. I am in the minority, though.
“A riveting true story about the sex lives of three real American women, based on nearly a decade of reporting”. This brief sentence has been used to describe Three Women by Lisa Taddeo. But, in my opinion, this book hasn’t been well marketed. It makes you dive into this book with different expectations because you will find three different portraits of sexual trauma and dysfunctional lives.
And there’s nothing wrong with these topics. But, first, I didn’t think this book is well-written. There’s a weak sentence construction which didn’t work for me at all.
Besides finding this book poorly written, Lisa Taddeo took eight years to conduct this research. She states that in the first pages of Three Women. I expected much more from an eight-year research. I know she dedicated this time to study other women; not just these three. Researching means going deep, digging, obsessing, connecting dots, and sharing. But I couldn’t feel any depth or even understand how the rest of the research played a meaningful role in this book.
Then, I found myself thinking why was everyone loving this book so much and I was feeling so conflicted. I thought that maybe because I’m an academic, I expected different things from this book, like I’ve just mentioned. But, then, I understood: I wrote a Master’s dissertation on the deep relations between eroticism and death in literature. I spent so much of my time reading about it that maybe that explains why this book didn’t impact me at all. This is my background and I cannot escape it. I can’t read this book through a different lens. These women’s stories were interesting but nothing out of the ordinary to me. And, like I said, the author didn’t do a good job (in my opinion) executing and turning their stories into a book.
So, the way I read it was influenced by my own studies and path. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many ravishing reviews about a book, though. So maybe you should give it a go. Because maybe you will find yourself loving and having an amazing experience with this book, like so many other readers.
I’d like to thank Bloomsbury Publishing for sending a review copy. You can buy the book here.
All Lina wanted was to be desired. How did she end up in a marriage with two children and a husband who wouldn’t touch her?
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?
Three Women is a record of unmet needs, unspoken thoughts, disappointments, hopes and unrelenting obsessions.
Published on: July 2019