WellRead’s August 2019 selection was Three Women by Lisa Taddeo. Narrative non-fiction at its finest, offering a deeply personal, often painful, wildly voyeuristic and refreshingly nuanced perspective on what drives the desire of three American women.
Use these discussion questions to engage with the book further, whether in a book club with friends, or just on your own as you digest the story.
Reading questions for Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
How has this book changed the way you think about desire? What do you think distinguishes desire from sex?
There is very little cultural context given in the book (ie. no mention of the #metoo movement). Did you appreciate that you were given the space to connect the dots yourself or did you want more instruction on what Taddeo might have been commenting on?
Which woman did you feel most compassion towards? Why do you think you felt that way?
Each of the three women had some kind of traumatic experience in their late teen years. How do you think those events shaped their relationships in the years following?
The three main relationships in the book are between men and women. Do you think it discredits the book that it is not more inclusive? (Sidenote: Lisa Taddeo didn’t set out to only feature straight women, she did in fact interview and report on a gay man, but says that these three women “gave me the most of their lives”)
"It’s the nuances of desire that hold the truth of who we are at our rawest moments.” Pretty big call. True, false or somewhere in between?
- Did you notice in the book that the things the women most wanted also had the potential to destroy them? What do you think that is all about?
Please note, these questions were written and distributed in August, 2019.