Ten Women, a novel by Marcela Serrano has been on my TBR (to-be-read list) for a while. I chose this book last year as an Amazon First Reads but never got the chance to actually sit down with it. Perhaps, it is because I tend to gravitate towards tangible paper instead of e-books but I just picked this one up.
As you can imagine, this book is about women. The story features nine women and their female therapist, which some may argue is the tenth titular character. I, on the other hand, believe that me as a reader, acts as the tenth woman but I’ll get to that a bit later. Anyway, these nine Chilean women couldn’t be more different. From their upbringings to their beliefs to their ages, they represent a wide range of the cultural and social groups within Chile. And let me tell you, these women are interesting. They all meet up at the request of Natasha, their therapist and go on a sort of retreat, where they can share their stories with someone other than the lady they pay (or don’t pay). Each story is moving and unique, weaving a tale so intricate, you can’t help but want to pull it apart and see into its fibers.
Marcela Serrano. Photo Courtesy of Zenda
One of my favorite aspects of this novel is just how real and relatable the characters are. I haven’t gone through any of their situations and yet I feel as though I can understand them. That connection comes from Serrano’s clear characterization and the emotion and effort she puts into each of the women. As I mentioned earlier, I feel as though I am the tenth woman. Yes, some might say it is Natasha’s assistant who is unnamed and tells Natasha’s story instead of her own but I don’t feel this way. True, Natasha’s assistant seems obsessed with her employer, making sure to obscure her own life in favor of Natasha’s upbringing and her life, but to me, there isn’t the same rhythmic punch as in accounts of the other women. It is as if Serrano implanted this story to give us comfort in the end, to let us know that everyone, even the psychiatrist, has issues. Everyone has fears to face, battles they wish to ignore, heart aches that make them and break them all at the same time.
Here’s a quote from the novel,
Language simultaneously damned and blessed, never resting, unmasking everything, pinpointing your place in the world, giving you identity, making you show your true colors.
Overall Rating: 5/5 Stars.
Do you think this book is worth a read? Let me know below! And if you’ve read it, how did you like it? It is quite rare that I give a book such a high rating but this novel definitely deserves it.
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