Women Talking by Miriam Toews

Women Talking

"This amazing, sad, shocking, but touching novel, based on a real-life event, could be right out of The Handmaid’s Tale." Margaret Atwood, on TwitterOne evening, eight Mennonite women climb into a hay loft to conduct a secret meeting. For the past two years, each of these women, and more than a hundred other girls in their colony, has been repeatedly violated in the night by demons coming to punish them for their sins. Now that the women have l...

Details Women Talking

TitleWomen Talking
Release DateApr 2nd, 2019
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Feminism, Cultural, Canada, Adult Fiction, Novels, Literary Fiction, Adult, Religion, Womens

Reviews Women Talking

  • Lola
    This is, without a single doubt, the most important book I have read all year.The women have three options they can choose from, but they can choose only one. 1. Do nothing.2. Stay and fight.3. Leave. But perhaps one is enough. Perhaps that one option can open multiple other possibilities. If the women arrive to a conclusion, that is.Already from the straight-forward title, you know 90% of what is happening in this book. Women are talking about t...
  • Jenna
    I don't really know how to review this book. I feel like if I try I will start crying - from sadness or rage. I wish we didn't live in a world where we need this book but oh my god how I needed to read this book. It broke my heart and made me feel like I wasn't alone in my anger. In the last year with so much finally coming to light and so much finally being talked about in more than whispers about rape, sexual harassment, the silencing of women ...
  • Ariadne
    This book might be the perfect book club read for 2019. There is plenty to chew on and discuss within this slender volume. The bulk of the story is one long conversation that takes place over the course of two days - the women of an isolated Mennonite colony have been brutally sexually abused, and now they must decide whether to stay in the only home they have known or leave for the greater unknown world. The core of the story is rooted in the te...
  • Krista
    Earnest puts his head on her shoulder and she smooths his wild, white hair. He asks if the women are devils.No, says Agata, we are your friends.He asks if the women are plotting to burn down his barn.No, Ernie, says Agata, there's no plot, we're only women talking. As author Miriam Toews explains in a brief foreward, Women Talking is based on real events: Between 2005 and 2009, the women and girls in a Bolivian Mennonite colony were waking up in ...
  • Sarah
    Beautiful, heartbreaking, powerful, stunning. This book had it all. A heavy read but I enjoyed it immensely and I definitely recommend everyone read it when it comes out on August 21st.
  • Alex
    3.5Toews tells a haunting story of a Mennonite community rattled after several of the men in the community are arrested for drugging and sexually assaulting the women and girls. The story, ironically is told by a male narrator taking minutes for theWomen as they deliberate their next step since the women cannot read or write. The women must choose whether to forgive to men or be exiled. As the women intensely debate the world view that had tied t...
  • Hannah Fenster
    We are so lucky to have WOMEN TALKING, which offers a window into the intricate details of a women-centered decision-making process in a community that does not have a word for patriarchy. Toew’s brilliant blend of history with thematic relevance reminds us that this setting—which feels so otherworldly—has already come and gone, time and again. With deliberation as the central action, rich, layered meanings emerge, and the women’s milesto...
  • Hanna
    I have truly never read anything like this before. What a cool and creative concept of reading someone's time-keeping & translations from an outside perspective. The horror of this story is that it is loosely based on real events. It begs the question, what did the real women of this story do? I'm inspired to do some research. This is an easy, short, fast-paced read that leaves a lot to be pondered. A story about systemic abuse, faith, and what i...
  • Naomi
  • But_i_thought_
    The premise of this book is probably one of the most fascinating I have encountered all year – think, The Handmaid's Tale, combined with the violence of Westworld and the claustrophobia of Dogville (2003). The story takes place in an ultra-conservative Mennonite community in Bolivia. Over the course of five years – from 2005 to 2009 – numerous women have reported waking up in the morning, feeling groggy, bruised, disheveled and often bleedi...
  • Liz Laurin
    I honestly have no words to describe how this book made me feel. the scene where Agata is saying goodbye to her cousin is especially heartbreaking though I'm not sure why in a book with so much horror. just the amount of kindness that she shows him in suggesting the mint for his bath and then watching as he leaves it's just beautiful. I also really love the discussion of the women not staying because it might make other people violent and that th...
  • Lauren
    Still thinking about this book days later. Tragic yet still hopeful. Definitely a must-read when it is released in August.
  • Ron S
    A Mennonite #MeToo the author describes as "a reaction through fiction to... real events, and an act of female imagination." Those real events are tragic, and may prove to be a barrier for some, but this is a timely one sitting read not unleavened with moments of hope, forgiveness and love.
  • Monika
    Powerful and heart wrenching. Women Talking comes out August 21 and I highly recommend picking up a copy.
  • Sarah
    Women talking, supporting, debating and arguing to decide how to take agency over their lives. What to do when the men they love; fathers, husbands, sons, are also the men they fear. Do nothing? Fight back? Leave? “None of us have ever asked the men for anything. Not a single thing, not even the salt to be passed, not even for a penny or a moment alone or to take the washing in or to open a curtain or to go easy on the small yearlings or to put...
  • Alexis
    I wish I liked this more than I did. It just didn't work for me. It was really hard for me to follow. This is the fault of the way my brain works, and not Toews' writing, or the device she chose for this story. It's an interesting book and I hope it does well. It just wasn't for me.
  • Jennie Shaw
    So good I can't even. Allllll the stars. Just read it.
  • Jenny Kim
    Based on true stories, this is author's fictional version of eight women of Mennonite Colony called Molotschna, who meet secretly to decide what they will do with themselves and their children when they discover the perpetrators of many years of drug induced overnight rapes were committed by the men of their own colony. Because these women do not know how to read or write, one of the Colonial man, August Epp, takes minutes of the two days debates...
  • Doreen
    About a decade ago, over 100 women in an ultraconservative Mennonite colony in Bolivia were secretly sedated and raped by male members of their community. Some attributed the attacks to ghosts and demons; some argued the women were being punished by God for their sins; and others said that the women, with their wild, female imaginations, invented stories. Miriam Toews used this event and her imagination to craft this novel from the perspective of...
  • Dawna Richardson
    I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest reviewThis novel by Miriam Toews is set in the Mennonite coloony of Molotschana. The colony has been shaken by the discovery that the women--who appeared to have been suffering from visits from demons in the night--had actually been drugged and assaulted by eight members of the colony. Their own brothers sons and fathers. The men responsible have been jailed and the other men in the colon...
  • Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
    "Between 2005 and 2009 in a remote Mennonite colony in Bolivia named the Manitoba Colony, after the province in Canada, many girls and women would wake in the morning feeling drowsy and in pain, their bodies bruised and bleeding, having been attacked in the night. The attacks were attributed to ghosts and demons. Some members of the community felt the women were being made to suffer by God or Satan as punishment for their sins; many accused the w...
  • Christine
    "...there's no plot, we're only women talking" is how one of the central characters of Women Talking responds when questioned by the owner of the hayloft where she and seven other Mennonite women have gathered. Rest assured, there is an epic, unforgettable plot and the women are doing so much more than only talking. Major life decisions are at stake...The women have had unimaginable horrors happen to them. They have figured out that they and many...
  • Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
    I picked this book up for a few reasons. It's by a well-known Canadian author, it's based on an actual event and I live in a community with a large Mennonite population, so the Mennonite aspect intrigued me. This little book is a fictional tale based on the abuse that was endured by a group of Mennonite women and girls, who live in a secluded colony in Bolivia. The abuse included repeatedly being drugged and raped by a group of males in their sma...
  • Sriya
    i feel like the word is used a lot about art coming out of this moment but this book really feels like a reckoning: a measured, thorough summing up of the options available to women after experiencing gendered violence. and this interrogation, in turn, leads to a profound destabilisation of the patriarchal society that incubates that violence.it's a real story but imo it doesn't take away from the lives of real women by either relying on the shoc...
  • Jenn Warner
    This is a novel (based on an actual event) of conversations of the women of a Mennonite colony who discover they have been drugged and raped over a period of years by the men in their community. Illiterate, speaking only their own language, and knowing very little of the world outside their community, women gather to discuss what to do as the rapists, arrested and taken to the city are due to arrive home on bail in two days.
  • Isobel Toms
    This was a heartbreaking abd beautiful book. I loved every minute of reading it, of every moment it made me angry and shocked. Utterly brilliant.
  • Adrienne