“I can’t recall the last time I’ve been reading a work of nonfiction and woken up excited purely by the fact that, today, I would get to read more. Compulsive and psychologically riveting, Three Women reads like a novel. I couldn’t keep from dog-earing its pages each time Taddeo perfectly expressed something I’d felt but never had the words for. In Sloane, Maggie, and Lina, I recognized aspects of myself — namely the desire for connection and for love. When three women tell their uncensored truth, they can liberate a nation. I feel deeply grateful to Lisa Taddeo for giving us this gift of raw authenticity.”
— Michaela Carter, Peregrine Book Company, Prescott, AZ
Summer 2020 Reading Group Indie Next List
“Three Women is one of the most compelling nonfiction books I have ever read. Taddeo crafts this book in such a way that you feel like you’re hearing these unique stories from a friend over a glass of wine. An intimate look into these women’s lives asks the reader to look into their own life of sensuality, relationships, and trauma—elements often coexisting. She finds a beautiful humanity in that tangled mess of natural desire and what we hide within ourselves.”
— Jenna Soltesz, Buxton Books, Charleston, SC
#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"The hottest book of the summer...Groundbreaking...Breathtaking...Staggeringly intimate." --Entertainment Weekly"The most in-depth look at the female sex drive that's been published in decades." --New York"Three Women will be whispered about around pools from coast to coast." --Town & CountryDesire 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.