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  • Writer's pictureJoan Fernandez

Women Talking

By Miriam Toews

Stunning tour de force!

A fierce cleaver of a book, WOMEN TALKING, slashes through ugly cords of patriarchy and fundamentalism in this searing story of eight women in a remote Mennonite community.

They are meeting clandestinely to debate their response to the exposure of a horrific trail of rape and sexual violence they and their children have been victims of for four years when eight men used an animal anesthetic at night to knock them unconscious and attack them.

At first I felt like I wanted to read half turned away from the page, afraid of reading the next ugly revelation. But as the complicated story unspools and the women emerge as distinct personalities, their humor, intelligence, missteps, hope and bravery pulled me straight into the tension. WOMEN TALKING is a stunning tour de force.

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