Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Ten Women by Marcela Serrano

genre: contemporary fiction

Ten Chilean women, ten different stories.  Each woman has her own chapter and her own voice, her own life experience in a country that has endured such political upheaval.  The thread bringing these women together is the tenth woman - their therapist, Natasha.  As each woman tells her life story and spews the heartache and trauma that led her to Natasha, we get a multi-faceted look at all the dimensions of Chilean life and are reminded that whether we are old or young, rich or poor - bad decisions, bad luck and unfortunate circumstances are a given and that we all have to find ways to process the hard.

While the writing is quite good and every character does have a strong sense of self, it's a really disjointed book.  I hoped that in the end all these women would somehow have some other thing that brings them together or some kind of "BAM" moment but alas, no.  I appreciated reading about the different kinds of struggles women can go through - particularly the mom of a daughter with mental illness and those who grew up in tiny villages.  Overall, it just wasn't particularly thrilling and so I was never super motivated to read it but I'm not sorry I did.  Chile is a place with a face to me now and that's worth something.

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