Review: Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

Reader, be warned. Three Women is not easy reading. Is it compelling, however? Absolutely. Journalist Lisa Taddeo takes the difficult private lives of three very different women and turns it into a nonfiction novel and study of female sexuality. There is Maggie, who was sexually abused in high school by a teacher who is regarded as a pillar of the community, Lina who was drugged and raped by three boys at a party and later finds herself in an unhappy marriage and pining for her first boyfriend and Sloane who sleeps with other men while her husband watches. 

Compiled over eight years, the author tells the stories of the three very different women, who have never met, who live in different parts of the United States and who have little in common, but for the fact that their sexuality is controlled by the people around them and fodder for gossip and discussion by others. There is an interesting look at class--Sloane who has money and who is married--is afforded a greater level of respect in her community (even while they judge her) than Maggie. The look at how the legal system treats people like Maggie is utterly horrific as are many parts of her story. 

Although this book is about sexuality, it is also interesting look at agency, class systems and who in the community is afforded respect and on what terms.



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