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Book Review: Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

Review of the hugely anticipated summer book – released July 9th.

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

Genre: Biography, Non fiction

BUG Rating: 3.5/5

Overall: Heartbreak, pain and love wrapped up in these complex stories of the lives of three women; three very different stories to tell but yet something so similar in each of them. This book really made me reflect on my own life too, given some of the similar emotions and situations I’ve found myself in – this book will stay with me for a while to come.

We don’t remember what we want to remember. We remember what we can’t forget.


All Lina wanted was to be desired. How did she end up in a marriage with two children and a husband who wouldn’t touch her?

All Maggie wanted was to be understood. How did she end up in a relationship with her teacher and then in court, a hated pariah in her small town?

All Sloane wanted was to be admired. How did she end up a sexual object of men, including her husband, who liked to watch her have sex with other men and women?

Three Women is a record of unmet needs, unspoken thoughts, disappointments, hopes and unrelenting obsessions.

When I first started hearing about this book, I hadn’t realised it was non-fiction. I was actually really fascinated by this – the author spent EIGHT years dedicating her life to this book. Living nearby the women, learning everything about them, spending an enormous amount of time just living and breathing their everything.

I liked the idea of the book – following three American women, who were each dealt very different cards and their lives couldn’t be further from one another. However, their stories were all united by one thing: desire.

The story focuses around love, heartbreak, wanting to be desired. For Maggie, it was in the form of feeling valuable, and she sought this from her high school teacher, a forbidden love making it even more exciting, until it all went wrong.

Lina, wanting to be wanted by her husband, who hadn’t touched her in years, and subsequently finding passion with her married childhood sweetheart; and finally Sloane – a rich woman, with an interesting life behind closed doors with her husband … and the third person they would invite into their sexual relationship. Did she enjoy it? I am still not sure, she enjoyed it for the sake of her husband, and maybe she grew to enjoy it.

All these women were totally broken in some way, often rooted deep into their pasts.

I found the stories interesting, but just half way through there seemed to be way too much sex and I felt the storyline lost its way. It totally overtook the book. I would have liked to have seen more around what happened to drive each of these women down the paths they took and more of their actual lives.

In terms of writing, although beautiful overall, the style in Maggie’s chapters I found a struggle to follow; and the chapters at the beginning where also a bit too long. By the time I’d got back to the character’s story, I’d forgotten where it had left off. Towards the end, these chapters got shorter and I found it a lot easier to jump back in where they’d left off.

I absolutely LOVED the epilogue. I found it very touching and thought-provoking and enjoyed it so much. I wish there had been more of that style throughout the book.

Did I love this book? … When I first finished it, no. It was ok yes, but I didn’t love it.. however, I now finished it two days ago, and I am still thinking about it. In each of the characters I saw some element of my own life and past, which I found really interesting? Disturbing? Worrying? … I’m not sure, something about the book really did touch me… so maybe there were elements I did love after all.

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