Women Talking

Women Talking

Book - 2018
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"A major work by one of our most beloved and esteemed writers, the novel is based on real events that happened between 2005 and 2009 in a remote Mennonite community where more than 100 girls and women were drugged unconscious and raped in the night by what they were told were "ghosts" or "demons." Women Talking is an imagined response to these real events. It takes place over 48 hours, as eight women hide in a hayloft while the men are in a nearby town posting bail for the perpetrators. They have come together to debate, on behalf of all the women and children in the community, whether to stay or leave before the men return. Taking minutes is the one man invited by the women to witness the conversation--a former outcast whose own surprising story is revealed as the women talk. By turns poignant, furious, witty, acerbic, tender, devastating, and heartbreaking, the voices in this extraordinary novel are unforgettable."--
Publisher: Toronto : Knopf Canada, ©2018
ISBN: 9780735273962
Characteristics: 216 pages ;,22 cm.

Opinion

From Library Staff

Acerbic, funny, tender, sorrowful and wise, Women Talking is composed of equal parts humane love and deep anger. It is award-winning writer Miriam Toews' most astonishing novel to date, containing within its two short days and hayloft setting an expansive, timeless universe of thinking and feelin... Read More »


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b
bronteside
Feb 23, 2019

Not my favourite Toews;a little slow -but well written.
A kind of Handmaid’s Tale- a rebellion in a Latin American Gilead.
Sexual assault is ubiquitous- from first world to third world.
And when partnered with the “church” and shaped in the backwoods
It makes the voices of these women alarmingly clear- even in their ambiguity.

2
21221018293347
Feb 21, 2019

Frustrating. The women do too much talking and not enough thinking. I suppose there are still communities in which men rule and women have no voice or personal thoughts. I could not finish this book.

q
Quietday
Dec 19, 2018

3.5 The most difficult aspect about this book for me was not even the events that precipitated the women talking. It's the fact that despite horrendous abuse and injustice, they are on the fence about it.

When you are raised within a strict religious paradigm, you are never taught or granted the freedom to think for yourself. Its it like Orwell's "Animal Farm" where the whole barnyard goes along thinking they have some wonderful plan and yet the pigs are changing all the rules, selfish and corrupt. For example, as these women debate the bible, they realize that since they can't read, they have only followed rules the men told them were biblical and now that they can't trust them, what do they do?

Very thought provoking.

d
dorothy_esau
Nov 19, 2018

I could not put this book down and read it over a two day period, which is the time period of the book. Toews is a gifted writer who draws the reader in to the story. I felt like I was there, with the women and Epp, the young man chosen to document the conversation. This is a beautifully written book with a lot of realistic details and does not need anything else - no action scenes are required. The twist at the end regarding Epp's lineage is perfection.

f
firefly5
Nov 18, 2018

So many people are waiting for this book. I hope they enjoy reading it. I did not like this book, I stopped at the first meeting the women had.

Taken from ms_mustard review. I suggest that you check out this website. Interesting account of these horrific events.
this is an account of the incident from The Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/sep/10/mennonites-rape-bolivia

K_ROK Oct 30, 2018

Unfortunately this one was a DNF at around page 65. I was expecting more action about the events and to read through actual dialogue between the characters when the women are talking, however everything (including other character's dialogue) was being told through one character, and I didn't much care for his additional musings. This book is all telling and almost no showing. It will no doubt resonate with the right reader however I am one that needs to be part of the action and this one just didn't do that for me. I have too many other books to read and couldn't spend any more time with this one. I encourage folks to give it a shot but I know what works for me and what doesn't.

h
hounddog
Oct 24, 2018

I was very disappointed in the way the story was told. Her other books I found to be very good reads. The narrative could have been told in two chapters.

t
toby65
Oct 17, 2018

The style is a bit difficult - reads more like a play and
takes some getting used to in that sense.
But this novel will stay with me.
Toews does her magic yet again.

d
dnl84
Oct 11, 2018

Brilliant narrative structure and utterly compelling. Toews lets us get to know a handful of traditional Mennonite women in a South American colony as actual individuals with actual personalities instead of falling into a "poor victim" type portrayal. These women are strong, and angry, and loving all at once. Perfect timing with all of the sexual assault focus in the news and politics right now. Highly recommended!

u
uncommonreader
Sep 14, 2018

This novel gives perspective to the "Me Too" movement in terms of focusing on truly horrific aspects of patriarchy. Religion, patriarch, authoritarianism - all go together. As always, Miriam Toews has something interesting to say.

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