Three Women
by Lisa Taddeo


Overview - #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Extraordinary...A nonfiction literary masterpiece...I can't remember the last time a book affected me as profoundly as Three Women." --Elizabeth Gilbert

"Taddeo spent eight years reporting this groundbreaking book....Breathtaking....Staggeringly intimate." --Entertainment Weekly

"The most in-depth look at the female sex drive that's been published in decades." --New York

"A dazzling achievement...Three Women burns a flare-bright path through the dark woods of women's sexuality." --Los Angeles Times

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, destroys our lives, and 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 past eight years, journalist Lisa Taddeo has driven across the country six times to embed herself with ordinary women from different regions and backgrounds. The result, Three Women, is the deepest nonfiction portrait of desire ever written and one of the most anticipated books of the year.

We begin in suburban Indiana with Lina, a homemaker and mother of two whose marriage, after a decade, has lost its passion. She passes her days cooking and cleaning for a man who refuses to kiss her on the mouth, protesting that "the sensation offends" him. To Lina's horror, even her marriage counselor says her husband's position is valid. Starved for affection, Lina battles daily panic attacks. When she reconnects with an old flame through social media, she embarks on an affair that quickly becomes all-consuming.

In North Dakota we meet Maggie, a seventeen-year-old high school student who finds a confidant in her handsome, married English teacher. By Maggie's account, supportive nightly texts and phone calls evolve into a clandestine physical relationship, with plans to skip school on her eighteenth birthday and make love all day; instead, he breaks up with her on the morning he turns thirty. A few years later, Maggie has no degree, no career, and no dreams to live for. When she learns that this man has been named North Dakota's Teacher of the Year, she steps forward with her story--and is met with disbelief by former schoolmates and the jury that hears her case. The trial will turn their quiet community upside down.

Finally, in an exclusive enclave of the Northeast, we meet Sloane--a gorgeous, successful, and refined restaurant owner--who is happily married to a man who likes to watch her have sex with other men and women. He picks out partners for her alone or for a threesome, and she ensures that everyone's needs are satisfied. For years, Sloane has been asking herself where her husband's desire ends and hers begins. One day, they invite a new man into their bed--but he brings a secret with him that will finally force Sloane to confront the uneven power dynamics that fuel their lifestyle.

Based on years of immersive reporting, and told with astonishing frankness and immediacy, Three Women is a groundbreaking portrait of erotic longing in today's America, exposing the fragility, complexity, and inequality of female desire with unprecedented depth and emotional power. It is both a feat of journalism and a triumph of storytelling, brimming with nuance and empathy, that introduces us to three unforgettable women--and one remarkable writer--whose experiences remind us that we are not alone.

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More About Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
 
 
 
Overview
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Extraordinary...A nonfiction literary masterpiece...I can't remember the last time a book affected me as profoundly as Three Women." --Elizabeth Gilbert

"Taddeo spent eight years reporting this groundbreaking book....Breathtaking....Staggeringly intimate." --Entertainment Weekly

"The most in-depth look at the female sex drive that's been published in decades." --New York

"A dazzling achievement...Three Women burns a flare-bright path through the dark woods of women's sexuality." --Los Angeles Times

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, destroys our lives, and 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 past eight years, journalist Lisa Taddeo has driven across the country six times to embed herself with ordinary women from different regions and backgrounds. The result, Three Women, is the deepest nonfiction portrait of desire ever written and one of the most anticipated books of the year.

We begin in suburban Indiana with Lina, a homemaker and mother of two whose marriage, after a decade, has lost its passion. She passes her days cooking and cleaning for a man who refuses to kiss her on the mouth, protesting that "the sensation offends" him. To Lina's horror, even her marriage counselor says her husband's position is valid. Starved for affection, Lina battles daily panic attacks. When she reconnects with an old flame through social media, she embarks on an affair that quickly becomes all-consuming.

In North Dakota we meet Maggie, a seventeen-year-old high school student who finds a confidant in her handsome, married English teacher. By Maggie's account, supportive nightly texts and phone calls evolve into a clandestine physical relationship, with plans to skip school on her eighteenth birthday and make love all day; instead, he breaks up with her on the morning he turns thirty. A few years later, Maggie has no degree, no career, and no dreams to live for. When she learns that this man has been named North Dakota's Teacher of the Year, she steps forward with her story--and is met with disbelief by former schoolmates and the jury that hears her case. The trial will turn their quiet community upside down.

Finally, in an exclusive enclave of the Northeast, we meet Sloane--a gorgeous, successful, and refined restaurant owner--who is happily married to a man who likes to watch her have sex with other men and women. He picks out partners for her alone or for a threesome, and she ensures that everyone's needs are satisfied. For years, Sloane has been asking herself where her husband's desire ends and hers begins. One day, they invite a new man into their bed--but he brings a secret with him that will finally force Sloane to confront the uneven power dynamics that fuel their lifestyle.

Based on years of immersive reporting, and told with astonishing frankness and immediacy, Three Women is a groundbreaking portrait of erotic longing in today's America, exposing the fragility, complexity, and inequality of female desire with unprecedented depth and emotional power. It is both a feat of journalism and a triumph of storytelling, brimming with nuance and empathy, that introduces us to three unforgettable women--and one remarkable writer--whose experiences remind us that we are not alone.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781451642292
  • ISBN-10: 1451642296
  • Publisher: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster
  • Publish Date: July 2019
  • Page Count: 320
  • Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.25 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Social Science > Human Sexuality (see also Psychology - Human Sexuality)
Books > Psychology > Human Sexuality (see also Social Science - Human Sexuality)
Books > Social Science > Women's Studies

 
BookPage Reviews

Three Women

A veteran of New York Magazine, Esquire and Elle, author Lisa Taddeo opens Three Women, her compelling debut, with stories about her mother: the beginnings of her mother’s life as a woman, with all the complexities that accompany the teenage years, when society views women as reaching the height of their sexual power. She closes with her mother as well, this time describing the end of her life as Taddeo cared for her in the hospital. While this may seem like a strange decision for a book that concerns itself with female desire, it’s quickly apparent to even the casual reader that Taddeo doesn’t shy away from the unspoken, the uncomfortable and the shadow sides of sexuality. This is by necessity a ruthless book as it explores the half-concealed aspects of not only the female sex life but also the inner and secret lives of women.

The three women in question cut across lines of class, age and experience. Maggie’s story begins as a teen-ager in a working-class family in North Dakota, receiving provocative and confusing texts from an English teacher that build alarmingly and irresistibly. Lina is an Indiana housewife, firmly middle-class, unfulfilled and anxiety-ridden amid toddlers and a sexless marriage, when she reconnects with an old boyfriend over Facebook. Enigmatic Sloane is comfortably upper-class and considers herself highly in control of her sexual agency, until difficult memories surface, consequences arise, and she begins to question the line between male desire and her own—whether she is subject or object.

Three Women is merciless, impossible to put down and so revealing as to be uncomfortable. As the women share themselves, you find yourself reflected. It’s a multifaceted work that changes as you turn it, casting light in unexpected corners that you never before considered—and had perhaps even been guarding against. 

 
BAM Customer Reviews