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Three Women

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  64,475 ratings  ·  6,289 reviews
Desire as we’ve never seen it before: a riveting true story about the sex lives of three real American women, based on nearly a decade of reporting.

It thrills us and torments us. It controls our thoughts and destroys our lives. It’s all we live for. Yet we almost never speak of it. And as a buried force in our lives, desire remains largely unexplored—until now. Over the pa
ebook, 320 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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Lisa Taddeo
Lisa Taddeo - author, nonfiction

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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 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  64,475 ratings  ·  6,289 reviews

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Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Emily May
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily May by: Tatiana
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
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....
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Jessica Lafferty
Jul 07, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I did find the stories interesting to read, but I have a myriad of issues with the book.

1. This book is marketed as a book about women's sexual desires, but of the three women's stories, only Lina's is about her "sexual desire." Maggie's story is about how she was groomed by her male teacher, and Sloane's is about how she has sex with other men because her husband likes it, even if she doesn't like or find those men attractive. Those two stories aren't about women's sexual desires; they're about
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 made this a summer read, 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--more specifically, the romantic, but mostly sexual, desire of three specific women. These are Lina, an at-home mom of two children and wi
Nilufer Ozmekik
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  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those curious about other people's sex lives
Recommended to Tatiana by: slate
Shelves: non-fiction, 2019
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
Jul 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
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
Claire Reads Books
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
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
Renee (itsbooktalk)
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
Claire Gibson
I have no idea how to rate this book. On one hand, "Three Women" is a fascinating tale — but I wouldn't call it an accurate depiction of female desire, as it's being billed. To me, it is a sad tragedy about sexual dysfunction — not about sex as it should be. It is pornographic — at times, even more pornographic than I thought necessary. However that didn't surprise me, considering the fact that the book sought to lift the veil on "desire." I would love to read a book about healthy sexuality. Sad ...more
Jul 31, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
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
Tyler Goodson
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
@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
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 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
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.
Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
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
Oof. This BOOK. Three women; eight years; their love and sex and desires meticulously recorded, celebrated, foregrounded. It is, almost unbelievably, nonfiction that – in the very truest sense – reads like a novel; Lisa Taddeo gives her subjects the care and complete focus that we often only give to the people we’ve made up.

The three women she chooses are Maggie, who has an affair with her high school English teacher at fifteen, and at twenty-three decides to seek justice; Lina, who marries the
Meredith B.  (readingwithmere)
5 Stars!

Because it's the quotidian minutes of our lives that will go on forever, that will tell us who we were, who our neighbors and our mothers were, when we were too diligent in thinking they were nothing like us. This is the story of three women.

I don't read a lot of non-fiction. When I heard that this book came out I wasn't sure what to think of it but it got a lot of buzz. As I dove in I realized how important this book being a woman myself and to society as a whole.

Eight years of rese
Bryn Greenwood
Reviewed for The Washington Post, to be published July 9, 2019.
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More Than Sex 1 15 Feb 07, 2020 09:33AM  
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