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Three Women

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  123,743 ratings  ·  10,581 reviews
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 critic
Hardcover, 306 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by Avid Reader Press
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Cydney Cort This is not about suffering and exploitation. It is more about passion and power. I think it goes for both men and women. We are all fools for love at…moreThis is not about suffering and exploitation. It is more about passion and power. I think it goes for both men and women. We are all fools for love at some point. it is hard not to identify. The author makes no judgement which is what some people complain about but i think the stories are strong and speak for themselves. There is nothing creepy it is honest and compassionate. (less)
Kate Yes, they are. And that is only one of my many issues with it.

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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  123,743 ratings  ·  10,581 reviews

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Emily May
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, botm, 2019
It wasn't regular, what you did, and now here I am. Look at me. I put this war paint on, but underneath I'm scarred and scared and horny and tired and love you.

I can understand why many readers were disappointed with this book. Luckily for me, it was recommended to me the right way: by a friend who painted it as a juicy and compelling portrait of three women's sex lives. Not as some amazing non-fiction project that contains the secrets of female desire.

If you came for the latter, I think dis
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
What even is this book? Broadly, it follows the desires and sex lives of three women but... it feels like a novelization more than reportage. Ten years of following these women went into this book but the author seems more concerned with transcription than any sort of thoughtful analysis. She draws no significant conclusions on the nature of women’s desires. Also, the title could be “Three White Women,” as all three women chronicled here are white. There is nothing wrong with that but it is such ...more
Elyse Walters
Audiobook... read by Tara Lynne Barr, Marin Ireland, Mena Suvari, and Lisa Taddeo

I’ve listened to 3 hours so far - of the 11 hours and 24 minutes.

Dave Eggers said:
“I can’t imagine a scenario where this isn’t one of the more important - and breathlessly debated - books of the year”. 🤔

Well... let the debates begin!!! I don’t feel this book is worth the praise it’s getting - at all.

My thoughts so far....
Honest thoughts?
I think very little of it!!
The concept might have been a great idea....
Jessica Lafferty
Jul 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Roman Clodia
This is quite a perplexing book as I'm not sure what Taddeo's intentions were. She takes three American women and tells their stories of failed love, disappointing marriages, unmet or unfulfilled sexual and emotional needs.

In some ways the stories are different and, almost deliberately (?) echo themes covered in recent fiction: Lina, in a sexless marriage, falls into an affair with her high-school boyfriend; Maggie is 'groomed' into a sexual relationship with her high-school teacher; Sloane fin
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sexuality
“If you have a husband who barely touches you. If you have a husband who touches you too much, who grabs your hand and puts it on his penis when you’re trying to read about electric fences for golden retrievers. If you have a husband who plays video games more than he touches your arm. If you have a husband who eats the bun off your plate when you’ve left it but you aren’t one hundred percent done with it. If you don’t have a husband at all. If your husband died. If your wife died. If your wife ...more
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Yawn. This book about three damaged women and their sad sex lives was not for me. I feel sorry for all of them - especially Maggie who was totally screwed - but I found the book tedious and pointless. Eight years of research for this?
***NO SPOILERS*** BOOK TRIGGER WARNING: sexual abuse, eating disorders, and suicide.

Three Women depressed and sickened me. I read this during the summer, even making the mistake of reading it at the beach. It cast a pall on what should have been a fun time, leaving me feeling hollowed-out and at times even hopeless.

This is marketed as a book about female desire--the romantic, but mostly sexual, desire of three specific women. These are Lina, an at-home mom of two children and wife to an aloof
Nilufer Ozmekik
Dec 05, 2019 rated it liked it
For a long time I didn’t read a nonfiction and after reading intriguing and provocative blurb and some mixed reviews I wanted to jump in without thinking any further.

I loved to see those three women early lives and their experiences, bad and good doings, suffering from all those hypocrisies, unfair verdicts, and judgmental looks. They might be abused and exhausted after carrying so much emotional pain and burdens but they are real survivors. Mostly three of them could be easily sympathized. Espe
To whom it may concern,

Just once I would like to have uncomplicated feelings about a book. Just once.

I would like to uncomplicatedly, without exception, truly purely LOVE a book. I’d even settle for outright, simple dislike at this point.

But I seem to be cursed with having mixed feelings about everything I read lately, and I guess that is my cross to bear.

(Also ignore the fact that I’m saying “lately” as if I didn’t read this a full three months ago.)


The first thing I would like to say a
Britta Böhler
Intriguing idea, a book about female desire, but this book is not about that. At all.
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, non-fiction
I devoured this book. I couldn't put it down. This past weekend I was continuously either physically reading it or listening to it. Morbid curiosity will do this to you. Three Women pulled me in with the same force that every damn Dear Prudence column pulls me it. I just love reading about other people's dramas. This book delivers the thrills of snooping on someone's personal lives tri-fold.

Lisa Taddeo had intended to write a book about desire, but after spending a decade interviewing her subjec
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
This felt very... gratuitous to me? I'm sure it was cathartic for the women involved, but reading about their experiences made me feel really anxious and uncomf and this just really didn't work for me. ...more
Hannah Greendale
Someone nominate this book for Literary Review's Bad Sex in Fiction Award. Seriously though, this is a book about trauma disguised as a book about desire, perhaps to justify its raunchy (and downright awkward) sex scenes. Among the many elements of this book that beg to be dissected is the degree to which it makes statutory rape a glorified and steamy sexual experience. It begs the question, is that acceptable if it accurately portrays the experience of the girl who was, unknowingly, being manip ...more
Jul 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, feminism
I appreciate how this book tackles the topic of female desire explicitly, given how female sexuality is so often stigmatized in contemporary culture. However, several issues got in the way of me enjoying the book or connecting with it more. As my friend Caroline writes in her astute review, I found aspects of the book gender essentialist, such that Lisa Taddeo would make comments about women’s desires broadly, without really analyzing how those desires may stem from socialization or how they may ...more
Jul 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
DNF-ing at 34% because this book is making me feel incredibly angry. The fact that I wasn't going to like it was pretty apparent from the beginning, as the prologue reeks of victim-blaming: Lisa Taddeo describes how her mother was followed to work for a long time by a man who masturbated in plain sight while looking at her, and wonders why her mother "let that happen". She goes on to ask herself if maybe her mother secretly enjoyed the experience. If you need an explanation of why this is fucked ...more
Andrew Smith
Jun 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is the true story of three American women who were looking for something, found it and then realised it wasn’t all they’d hoped it would be.

Maggie was seventeen-years-old when she had an affair with her English teacher. It ended when his wife spotted a text from her. She was bereft for some time, hoping that she could somehow rekindle the affair. But years later, when she was twenty-three, she reported the teacher to the authorities when she learned that he’d just been voted state teacher o
Renee (itsbooktalk)
Jul 13, 2019 rated it liked it
It's taken me a few days to get my thoughts together to write what I hope is a usual review. I want to start by saying I think this book is worth reading. It’s bringing about important discussions, I’ve had some really great ones with a few bookstagram friends but I also think it’s important to have the right expectations going in. ⠀⠀
I was excited to read what had been buzzed about as a juicy expose on female desire. This book has been marketed as the next great feminist book based on 8 years o
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Three Women” is an intense look at the lives of 3 women, delving into their lives over an 8 year period, where they have been interviewed in their home towns. It intrigued me as it was an intimate look at their thoughts and desires, rather like reading someone’s diary.

The 3 women live in different areas, are different ages and social classes, yet they still have the same desires and hopes for the future.

I couldn’t help love Maggie, Sloanne and Lina and even though they chose paths that I would
I listened to the audiobook, and I thought it was fascinating. I know this book is a little controversial right now, but I personally enjoyed it. We follows three different women in this book, and I like that even though this book in nonfiction, it reads like fiction. We get to hear the stories from these three women told from their own voices, which was a great choice on the authors part I think. I think Maggie's chapters were my favorite to read about, and her chapters take up the majority of ...more
Claire Reads Books
Jul 15, 2019 rated it liked it
This was an interesting one... The product of more than a decade of research and interviews, this book tells the stories of three women: Maggie, a North Dakota woman who, as a teenager, had an affair with her high school English teacher; Lina, a Midwestern housewife stuck in a sexless marriage; and Sloane, a glamorous Newport restaurateur whose husband likes to watch her sleep with other people. Provocative, explicit, and refreshingly frank, Three Women seems to be perfectly timed for our curren ...more
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
@avidreaderpress #partner Okay. This is going to be a long one. I want to preface this by saying that my negative opinions about this book are not directed towards the brave women who shared their stories with the author.
This book is marketed as a book about female desire. Goodreads pitches this as “the deepest nonfiction portrait of desire ever written.” The authors note at the beginning of my ARC says “I am confident that these stories convey vital truths about women and desire.” But I have t
Bri Lee
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Genevieve Padalecki
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have ever read. Taddeo's journalism is truth-seeking, entertaining, informative, and wonderfully written. Like one of my favorite writers, Jon Krakauer, I found myself completely engrossed in the storytelling of the truth. Taddeo weaves fact together with a beautiful narrative... She explores desire from three different women's perspectives. There is Lina, an Indiana housewife, who wants nothing but to be kissed by her husband. Maggie is a young student from North Dakota ...more
Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
Jul 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
Before I share my thoughts on this, please know I don’t do so lightly and my comments in no way pass judgment on the experiences shared by the women.

I had two key issues with this book - firstly the writing, specifically the use of imagery and metaphor, is some of the most jarringly awkward I have come across. More importantly though, I think there are some major issues with the way that this book is pitched as being about “desire” more broadly. The majority of the experiences shared in this foc
Book of the Month
"Why I love it"
by Lisa Taddeo

Recently over drinks I asked a friend, “What’s the last book you read that you just couldn’t put down?” Without hesitation, she answered, Three Women. Now, I’m not usually a nonfiction reader—and I have a stack of half-read memoirs to prove it—but with this book, I have to agree with my friend: Three Women sucks you in from the very first page. After all, who would pass up a voyeuristic glimpse behind the bedroom doors (or in some cases, the classroom or car doors) o
Emily B
The format of the writing in this book was not what I was expecting. Although it was non-fiction it was presented more as fiction with a strong story feel to it. While this is an interesting way to write about female desire i'm not totally convinced. ...more
Caro the Helmet Lady
I honestly am at a loss what to say about this book. Right now praises sound like jokes to me, especially the claiming that someone would re-read this every year of her life from now on. Little word "probably" gives me hope that they rather won't. But if you're into masochism - sure, why not?

My problem with this book is that I don't understand, what was the point of this 8 years long work? Does it discover anything new? Does it make you angry, make you want to start some changes, fight for your
Tyler Goodson
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
Three Women tells the story of female desire, not as experienced by all women, but by Lina, Maggie, and Sloane. The stories of these women are surprising and thought-provoking, and Lisa Taddeo relates them in a book that is as insightful as it is impossible to put down. It isn't that these three women speak for all women, but that they speak so clearly, honestly, and powerfully for themselves. ...more
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo is a raw and emotional look at the lives of three different women. This book made me angry, made me cry, and made me worry about our society. I think this is a must read for all women, and while everyone may not like it, I think most women will.

What it's about: Lina, Maggie, and Sloane are from different areas of the United States, different social standings and are different ages, but they all crave two things - love and affection. Lina is in a marriage w
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The Sonder Book C...: March Book Review: Three Women by Lisa Taddeo 1 4 Mar 15, 2022 07:56PM  
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