Review: Three Women

THE PLOT: Three Women is a type of biography of the sexual relationships and love lives of three real people. The author, Lisa Taddeo, spent eight years researching the book and moved to the towns where the women lived.

  • Maggie falls in love with her teacher when she’s sixteen and has to deal with the repercussions for the rest of her life.
  • Lina’s marriage is breaking down and she finds solace in her high school sweetheart Aiden.
  • Sloane is wealthy, beautiful and thin. She has threesomes with her husband, which fulfils his cuckolding fetish.

MY RATING: This book receives four stars because I was impressed with how the real stories felt so poetic. Lisa Taddeo describes scenes masterfully and really gets under the skin of each of the stories. All three women are defined by their relationships with men, which is sad yet realistic. They are abused and raped, but they also enjoy sexual relationships that aren’t always emotionally healthy.

GOOD BITS: The most striking aspect of this novel is how each woman suffers in a quiet, every day way that we’ve come to expect from women. Although real stories, there’s a strong sense of plot that drives the narrative as well as the haunting descriptions that give each character a distinct setting and strong overriding theme.

NOT SO GOOD BITS: I don’t really have any criticisms, apart from that scene with the crème egg… This book couldn’t be anything different and we have to take it for what it is. Raw, emotional, overtly sexual, but with a sense that something is always being held back. We can only see these women behind a screen and get a glimpse into their lives. I do wish the novel explored the mothers of each woman a bit more. The epilogue alludes to a much stronger storyline with Maggie’s mum, Arlene, which was intriguing. Whereas, Sloane and Lina’s parents feel like stereotypes.  For example, Sloane’s mother is a typical white wealthy east coast American preppy woman, which seemed one-dimensional.

OVERALL: The novel is somewhat bleak. There is no happily ever after. Women are used, as women will always be used. Men control the dynamics in all of the relationships, even if the women are pretty or skinny or rich. But life is bleak. And the blunt realism of these stories is what makes them beautiful.