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Book Review| Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

Have you ever wondered what a lovestruck woman in a problematic relationship may feel, think or rationalize? Within the courageous non-fiction pages of this novel, Maggie, Lina, and Sloane have one thing in common: they are lovestruck and their stories are untraditional. They have all gone beyond what is expected for love, some unrequited. To find these stories, debuting author, Lisa Taddeo, totes driving across the country six times, over a span of eight years for research. The prologue is a treat inside the raw thoughts of the author.

"It's the nuances of desire that hold the truth of who we are at our rawest moments." ~Lisa Taddeo

Lina’s story:

Lina, a middle-class housewife, argues “all women just want to be kissed”. Trapped in a lackluster marriage, Lina is looking for excitement and to be deeply desired. She dreams about being kissed deeply, an act that her husband doesn’t enjoy. Lina reconnects with a past lover from high school, who is also married, and begins an affair. The affair leads her down a path of broken promises, broken vows and a broken heart. Albeit she gets plenty of the passion in which she seeks.


Taddeo began creating the story idea of Three Women with a long-time interest in male passion and lust. Left with interesting stories from her childhood of how these intense feelings could make a man give up everything for one moment with someone they desired. Subsequently, this lead Taddeo to ponder the implications these actions have on the women involved in these situations. The aftermath of the intense pursuit and attention once the moment has passed.

Beginning from these origins, the constructed a book of stories in many ways highlighting the victimology of women in love. Alternatively, in another light, this book could have easily been a triumphant story about women owning their sexuality and choices, with the exclusion of Maggie falling into a predatory situation. With so many incongruities, this book would have been difficult to market despite it being everything readers want: well written, intimate and brash -leaving it faintly off-center.


Sloane’s story:

Sloane, a beautiful restaurant owner and hostess, has everything that she could ever want. A handsome chef husband in which she co-owns a restaurant with, children and a wealthy loving family. The only caveat is that her husband likes her to sleep with other men but she actually enjoys it. Constantly trying to escape judgmental eyes, Sloan ponders many internal questions: Why do others expect her to feel the need to apologize for her sexuality, but not her husband? Why is it accepted for her to carry the badge of sexual deviant while her husband gets to remain the respectable pillar of the community? Better yet, why does she accept these social norms?


Author Lisa Taddeo’s first novel Three Women has been critically acclaimed as “Astonishing” and “Revolutionary”. Taddeo’s writing style is complex, fiercely intentional and slow, with many commas and complex sentences, allowing the reader’s emotions to keep pace with the story. Taddeo plays on words and sentence structure just to make sure you are paying attention. To keep the synapses firing the first-time author construct sentences that mingle words like trail and trial, scarred and scared, and uses raw, unapologetic language to describe emotions.


Maggie’s story:

Maggie is a young woman in less in control of her decisions than Lina and Sloane. In that way, her story is much different, troubling even. Maggie is going through a court trial accusing her high school teacher of statutory rape. However, she grapples with whether it was actually rape because in her mind, they were in love. In fact, the reason she had involved the courts is because he had refused to see her again after his wife found out. And once her had been awarded the Teacher of the Year Award, he wouldn’t even take her calls. She desperately just wants everything to go back to the way it was.


This book gives insight to the thoughts and emotions of women who would normally be shunned by peers for their actions. The author’s goal, in part, was to illicit empathy for these women, these situations; to show that a normal relationship, in some cases, can turn into something completely unrecognizable. Depending on the reader’s life experiences, views, and moral compass, each person will feel something different and unique from this book. However, we can all agree that gaining more empathy, even if it’s just a little, is always virtuous.

Happy Reading Friends,




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