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4.01  ·  Rating details ·  2,446 ratings  ·  286 reviews
Women is a novella exploring sexual confusion, female friendship, being a woman, and being a daughter. The book is an urgent recall of heartbreak, a stark portrait of an identity in crisis.
Paperback, 144 pages
Published October 1st 2014 by Short Flight/Long Drive
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Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,446 ratings  ·  286 reviews

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Jay Gabler
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
How can you not love a book where, when the characters get mad at each other, they show it by blocking each other on Goodreads?
Louise Wilson
Mar 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This novella explores sexual confusion, female friendship, being a woman and a daughter.

This is a tale about a love affair and intimacy between women. It's written in the first person point of view. An account of a woman's first same sex relationship.

I would like to thank NetGalley, HarperCollins UK, 4th Estate and the author Chloe Caldwell for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Nov 20, 2014 marked it as aborted-efforts
Shelves: chicklits
Almost every single review on here gives a rapturous five stars, so I don't feel too bad about saying this just wasn't for me. I was excited to read it, but now considering the title I wonder if it's for people who are aging out of Girls. Being in my stodgy mid-thirties I may just be the wrong demographic?

Not liking this book made me feel old and cranky and judgy and mean. It was extremely readable and reminded me in some way of social media, like I was looking at a person's Instagram account of
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
A straight woman finds herself attracted to a confident, supportive, older soft butch. They are both very bad at keeping and respecting boundaries. Their relationship becomes all consuming, to the detriment of them both. This book is a chronicle of the experience. I bought it, finding the size and feel of the book attractive enough to take a chance on the prose inside. It was a quick read, and nicely paced, and quite a thorough summary of such an intensive period of time, and for that I apprecia ...more
May 13, 2016 rated it did not like it
A naive, self-indulgent visit to queerness that won't be particularly revelatory to anyone who has lived as anything other than straight and cisgender for more than 5 minutes. Smells like tourism.
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am not sure whether this is fiction or memoir, but am sure that this was one harrowing read. I can't say I liked it, but it was disturbing to the core. I was exasperated with the main character at times, and felt sympathetic at times. But there was no empathy because I think she doesn't have much external adversities in life .. whatever problem she faces is only of her own making.
But then who am I to judge? It is said they we should live in the shoes of others to really judge.. and am not abl
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: orgasmic
A totally compulsive account of falling in love (the beyonce/crazy variety) and heartbreak, and how it plays out in the 21st century. You know it better be pretty great with a bold title like that. Open-hearted and real to the point where it feels weird calling it a novel, therefore also cringeworthy and funny. The personal here, all those tiny little moments and gestures that happen at the start of a relationship, and the specifics of women together and these two particular women, becomes total ...more
Tan Markovic
This novella is a young woman’s account of her first same sex relationship. The protagonist falls deeply for a woman 19 years her senior called Finn. Finn at the time of their relationship was in a long term relationship of her own. Yeah. You all know how this ends up.

After reading the synopsis and the vast amount of positives reviews, I was excited to begin this short story. Unfortunately, it completely fell flat for me. The general tone of the book was monotonous and tedious, I didn’t end up c
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Yesterday when I came home from work there was a book waiting for me in the table in the front hall. I recognized the return address; Chloe, in handwriting, accents the "e" at the end of her name. I am grateful for this book. I am grateful for Chloe's writing in general, from her first essay collection to her sundry essays anthologized and published all over the internet. I am grateful for the two friends who introduced me to her book. "Women" is a great book. It is slim, I finished it in less t ...more
Dec 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
The book was on everybody's most impressive novel of the year lists, so I gave it a try. Sadly, it did not work for me: both protagonists felt cardboard-flat (one stitched together out of a stereotypes about lesbians 101 list, the other a stereotypical young writer with 0 preoccupation about the writerly craft or community to show for that characterization). All in all, I'm pretty sure I've seen breakups documented with more insight, humour or style on twitter than in the novel.
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbtq, read-in-2015
Did I read the same book as everyone else on Goodreads? I expected more for a book so highly rated. The characters lacked development, seemed superficial and pulled from stereotypes the author knew about lesbians; the "meta-narrative" (if one could call it that) was off-putting; the narrator's reflection seemed practically nonexistent. The best part of the book was that it was short.
Laura Wallace
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
these days I am hesitant to get too enthusiastic about a contemporary writer my age or younger because, inevitably, someone I know ends up knowing them or having gone to school with them and lots of times they end up saying the person is an asshole. maybe someone around here thinks Chloe Caldwell is an asshole. that seems possible. but I am enthusiastic about this book nonetheless!

it's one of those love affair memoirs. I guess it's presented as a novel(la), but obviously it's also true. it is a
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 09, 2017 added it
would have liked this like 1000x more if it had actually been called dyke aching (will someone plz write that one?)
Women by Cloe Caldwell was the perfect short two hour audio book experience for me this morning. I still have to get the hang of audio books, how to insert them into my day. If I listen to them in bed I always fall asleep. If I listen to them during the day I feel distracted from the story as soon as I do anything on the side. I think if I had a car and/or commuted by train it would be the ideal setting but I don’t. I still prefer to read instead of listen to words but I want to get better at it ...more
Sian Lile-Pastore
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
A near-perfect little book about falling in love which also referenced all my favourite things - er, such as Rebecca Solnit and The L Word.
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book more - it was recommended by a friend with good taste in books, and we usually agree quite a bit. I couldn't get into the story though, because it really wasn't like reading a story. It was about reading a number of interesting quotes about the nature of relationships. It felt contrived instead of heart-rending and real. If you're a lover of poetry (which I am not), then I think you willhave a much better experience with this book than I did. As it is, my reacti ...more
SF/LD Books sent this to me ages ago in a care package with another title I had been excited about reviewing. Yes, it took me until this christmas, while rearranging my shelves and rediscovering that I had it, to get me to pick it up out of the pile.

The book is fucking adorable, no wider than the palm of my hand, and it holds our narrator's heart hostage from the get go. She finds herself totally falling for a woman for the first time, one much older, more experienced, and who's already in a co
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved this short little gem. It reads like a memoir and deals with love, loss, relationships and identity.
Sophie Davidson
Jan 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
Should have known from the Lena Dunham quote that I would hate this / like hanging out with someone I don’t like who’s saying quite stupid things for an hour and a half
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Let me tell you a thing: this book surprised me. At first I thought I was reading notes for a finished story, half formed diary entries leading nowhere in a seductive little package. Then, appropriately, I was addicted. On its facade Women is about one woman's first lesbian encounter but that's wholly underselling it. Women is an intimate portrait of an unhealthy relationship and obsessive temperament; how they play off each other, how a woman isolated can pour everything into a relationship she ...more
Kirsten Kosik
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Holy hell.
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbt
I'm going to start by saying that this is a difficult book to rate. I feel like I can't just say I LOVED THIS or I HATED THIS. Maybe it's a little bit of both.

Women feels very different to many other books about similar topics or characters that I've read. It's written in short paragraphs that feel like snapshots of the main character's life, which I liked a lot. And it was nice to read about the main character's different relationships with the women in her life, who were all interesting charac
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, just wow! I think this book is going to be on my top read list of 2018. Such a short book which is only around 100 pages, but oh my goodness, what an amazing 100 pages it is.

I am quite surprised myself with this too to be very honest. I started this book not having many expectations as I haven’t read a lot of LGBT related fiction (which is one of the new year resolutions for 2018 that I need to read more LGBT-themed books). Only 10 pages in I was spellbound and obsessed. In one single sitt
Mar 16, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
flat, unreflective and dependent on trite clichés to move the (lack-of-)story forward, as well as being an incredibly voyeuristic and touristy sojourn in the oh-so-mystical (the book actually uses this word to describe That One Woman that makes the str8 narrator question her sexuality) realm of queerness. i fully agree with this goodreads reviewer who writes that it "won't be particularly revelatory to anyone who has lived as anything other than straight and cisgender for more than 5 minutes". a ...more
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a book to be read in one sitting although I admit that I read it in 1.5. I've never read anything quite like this before. It's a story about a love affair and intimacy between women. This book came into my life at a time when I have been thinking about emotional labor and how I, having been raised as a man where toxic masculinity is the default, rely on women to either perform my emotional labor for he or, at a minimum, to guide me through this work.

The relationships in this story highl
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a story about falling in love, that obsessive type of love, it's entirely relatable. The narrator is a writer and I often wondered if this novel was based on something that actually happened (lot of meta references to the book itself and editors and opinions about what she is writing), but then I would think--it's not important, and yes, this actually happens all the time, really. To everyone. And while so much resonated with me (to include the technology and social media namechecks, includi ...more
Grace Kao
Apr 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
I'm not done yet, but will be in like, an hour.

In short, this book is about a straight woman having her first lesbian relationship and then writing a really long Thought Catalog article about it.

I got about 30 pages into it on the subway before realizing how much I really wasn't here for this.

Will finish because... it's short, and I always feel bad about donating unfinished books.

Caldwell name drops Solnit and Nelson, and you can see how much she's struggling to write with even a fraction of th
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
The writing in this book seemed weak and underedited for the first twenty pages or so, so I expected to dislike the whole thing. But in the end -- and maybe this is just because of the place I'm in -- I thought it was very good. It captures just what it's like to be in an obsessive emotional state that feels impossible to think through because it seems to have reduced you to the same limited set of thoughts over and over, and because your obsession is with another person and you feel certain tha ...more
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Chloe Caldwell is the author of the critically acclaimed novella, WOMEN (Short Flight/Long Drive, 2014) and the essay collection I'LL TELL YOU IN PERSON (CoffeeHouse/Emily Books).

Chloe's work has been published in Buzzfeed, New York Magazine, Vice, Lenny Letter, Salon, The Rumpus, The Sun, Nylon, Men's Health, and half a dozen anthologies.

Chloe teaches creative nonfiction at Catapult in Manhattan

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