Women Talking by Miriam Toews

Women Talking

One 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 learned they were in fact drugged and attacked by a group of men from their own community, they are determined to protect themselves and their daughters...

Details Women Talking

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

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...
  • Felicia
    I don't know how this book got published.A fictitious account of actual events, a dark and disturbing subject with a plethora of 4 and 5 star reviews. What could go wrong? Well, in the case of this book, everything.The entire book is spelled out in the description. Eight Mennonite women discover that themselves, along with 100+ other women and children in their community, have been drugged and raped by the community men over the course of two yea...
  • 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.
  • Sarah
    Somewhere between 3-3.5So much promise here - Toews presents a fictional retelling of the rape of over 100 Mennonite girls and women in a remote community in Bolivia - yet it doesn't quite live up to what it perhaps could have been. I think the choice to use a male narrator was an error, but I kind of get why it was chosen (as most if not all of the women in this community are unable to read or write). I will say that I've never read anything qui...
  • Jennifer
    i am a huge fan of miriam toews' writing. this novel was probably my most anticipated read for 2018. which means my expectations were sky-high, even with my effort to keep it all in check. for now, i am still mulling over my reaction and feelings about the book, but wanted to get something noted here. there are some very interesting storytelling choices made -- i always feel there is so much to learn from toews' style. the writing is excellent, 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...
  • Jennie Shaw
    So good I can't even. Allllll the stars. Just read it.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Bart Van Overmeire
    Uitgelezen: 'Women Talking' van Miriam Toews, 'both a reaction through fiction to these true-life events, and an act of female imagination'.De waargebeurde feiten waarop het boek gebaseerd is, speelden zich tussen 2005 en 2009 af in een afgelegen Mennonietenkolonie in Bolivië. Jarenlang werden vele vrouwen, tieners en zelfs kleine meisjes in deze gemeenschap 's ochtends versuft en verkracht wakker. De nachtelijke aanvallen werden toegeschreven a...
  • Melinda Worfolk
    In the Acknowledgements section of this beautifully written novel, Miriam Toews writes, “I wish...to acknowledge the girls and women living in patriarchal, authoritarian (Mennonite and non-Mennonite) communities across the globe. Love and solidarity.” The book is fiction, but centred around true events that happened in an isolated Mennonite colony in Bolivia.The plot is simple: after they discover the colony’s male elders plan to compel the...
  • Naomi
  • Lauren
    Still thinking about this book days later. Tragic yet still hopeful. Definitely a must-read when it is released in August.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Bandit
    If you don’t know much about Mennonites this book is going to be an education. A terrifying one, because despite the fact that it’s recognized as a religion, it operates very much like a cult. Although, like some religions, it treats women very much like substandard subservient submissive members of their ranks. This book, and here’s something particularly terrifying, was based on real events that took place in a Mennonite colony in Bolivia...
  • Linda
    I wish I had a heart for the world like the one Miriam Toews has for her characters. She even loves the bad 'uns. Sometimes she even finds them funny.
  • Meg
    What seemed like a fascinating premise, turned out to be a poorly written, fluff filled short story. Incredibly boring essay that was dragged out into a novel. Too bad - this could have been such an awesome story.
  • Monika
    Powerful and heart wrenching. Women Talking comes out August 21 and I highly recommend picking up a copy.
  • Brooke
    3.5 stars. Women Talking is based on real events that took place between 2005 and 2009 in a Mennonite colony, where women often woke up sore, bleeding and confused. It was believed that these women were being raped by the devil or other demons, as punishment for their sins. However, it was discovered that some of the men in the community were using animal anesthetic to drug the women and rape their unconscious bodies. Women Talking is a reaction ...
  • Kate
    2.5/5This is a novel written from the perspective of August Epp, an educated male (English speaker and writer) in a Mennonite community. It comes to light that a group of men are using Belladonna to render women and children in the community unconscious so that they may sexually abuse and assault them. A group of women come to realize this and they gather together to determine what should be done and what their plan of action should be. They have...
  • Stephanie
    Women Talking is quite a short novel, but I found it a bit tough to read because the women in the book are Mennonites and use a lot of Mennonite phrases, and I found that for me, the reading wasn't fluid. That said, I really liked the story--a group of Mennonite women who have been repeatedly drugged and raped are debating whether to stay in the community, to fight the men, or to leave in order to protect themselves and the children. The story ta...
  • Booksandchinooks (Laurie)
    I received a free copy of this book from PenguinRandomHouse Canada for an honest review. I have read other books by this Canadian author so I was excited to read this. This is a fictional account of true events that happened to women and children in a Mennonite community in Bolivia. It was horrifying to read that the women and children had been drugged and repeatedly raped over time by the men in their community. The story is a discussion the wom...