By Lisa Taddeo
Named a Best Book of the Year: The Washington Post * NPR * The Atlantic * New York Public Library * Vanity Fair * PBS * Time * Economist * Entertainment Weekly * Financial Times * Shelf Awareness * Guardian * Sunday Times * BBC * Esquire * Good Housekeeping * Elle * Real Simple * And more than twenty additional outlets
A riveting true story about the sex lives of three real American women, based on nearly a decade of reporting.
Lina, a young mother in suburban Indiana whose marriage has lost its passion, reconnects with an old flame through social media and embarks on an affair that quickly becomes all-consuming. Maggie, a seventeen-year-old high school student in North Dakota, allegedly engages in a relationship with her married English teacher; the ensuing criminal trial turns their quiet community upside down. Sloane, a successful restaurant owner in an exclusive enclave of the Northeast, is happily married to a man who likes to watch her have sex with other men and women.
Hailed as “a dazzling achievement” (Los Angeles Times) and “a 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 critics—and topped bestseller lists—worldwide. Based on eight years of immersive research, it is “an astonishing work of literary reportage” (The Atlantic) that introduces us to three unforgettable women—and one remarkable writer—whose experiences remind us that we are not alone.
“Three Women is a masterpiece. . . . You’ll want to pass your copy on to a friend as soon as you’ve read it; it’s a book that begs discussion.”
“An astonishing work of literary reportage . . . As Lisa Taddeo writes about her subjects, the women she uses to map out an anthropological, humane, passionate study of female desire, she seems almost to inhabit them. . . . A fascinating appraisal of a subject few writers have approached so intently.”
“There isn’t a woman alive who won’t recognize—her stomach lurching, her heart beating wildly—something of what Maggie, Lina, and Sloane go through.”
“An extraordinary study of female desire . . . To write this kind of nonfiction—it’s true, but reads like a novel—Taddeo smartly employs not only interviews but also diary entries, legal documents, letters, emails and text messages. The result is a book as exhaustively reported and as elegantly written as Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers or Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s Random Family. . . . Taddeo’s language is at its best—sublime, even—when she describes the pain of desire left unfulfilled.”
—Elizabeth Flock, Washington Post
“A work of deep observation, long conversations, and a kind of journalistic alchemy. Taddeo spent years with the subjects of Three Women, and the investment pays off. . . . What makes their stories revolutionary is the exquisite candor with which Taddeo gives them voice . . . She seamlessly weaves together everyday details and startlingly intimate moments into narratives that feel as real, as vital, as the pulse in your wrist. . . . As the three women’s tales alternate, Taddeo narrates with a magically light touch, inhabiting each so fully we feel as if we’re living alongside them. The book is sexually explicit—you might blush when reading it—but it never feels gratuitous or clinical. Its prose is gorgeous, nearly lyrical as it describes the longings and frustrations that propel these ordinary women. Blending the skills of an ethnographer and a poet, Taddeo renders them extraordinary.”
—Kate Tuttle, NPR
“Searing . . . The stories of Taddeo’s subjects, Sloane, Lina and Maggie, all feature the illicit—threesomes, dominance and submission, underage sex—and each includes a hefty dose of good old-fashioned adultery. . . . The result is effective and affecting. . . . Taddeo reveals an avalanche of evidence, as if we needed more, that the cozy comforts of marriage and its defining, confining attribute, monogamy, provide the perfect petri dish for combustible sex—with someone other than your spouse.”
—Toni Bentley, New York Times Book Review