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, Cultural, Canada, Feminism, Adult Fiction, Literary Fiction, Novels

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...
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • Naomi
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Nicole
    Life changing
  • Kristen
    I'll be thinking about this book for a while. Set in a Mennonite colony in Bolivia, it underscores the lack of options and resources the women of this community have based on lack of education and complete dependence on the men in the community, many of whom have failed them utterly. This could take place at anytime during history and it's horrifying to think that it's based on true events and set in the present day.
  • Amanda (WidowWatson reads)
    With Miriam Toews you can always expect two things: 1. Mennonites2. The Feelsand with this new novel, you will definitely experience both of those things.Set in the Mennonite community of Molotshna, this story focuses on two dynamic families who have to decide whether to stay or to leave after they discover some of the men have been raping women while unconscious. The novel is beautifully structured as the minutes of the meeting, taken by the soc...
  • Rebecca
    I received an ARC from the publisher via my employer.I read A COMPLICATED KINDNESS about 12 years ago, when I was a teen, and I remember enjoying it, but as an adult I know I loved WOMEN TALKING. I'm a sucker for stories about insular religious communities, and stories with tightly constrained timelines and ambitious plot devices, and WOMEN TALKING is a wonderful example of both. I would compare it to TWELVE ANGRY MEN, the play/movie about a jury...
  • Laura
    This novel presents a beautifully human and original way to approach the topic of a shocking crime against a group of women in a Mennonite community. It is, quite literally, a book of *women talking.* Instead of letting the gory details or scenes dominate (they're there, in the background, beneath the ongoing conversation), Toews allows us to know and understand and love these wonderful characters as they struggle with the aftermath of what's hap...
  • Kelly
    The plot of this book is shocking, especially when you discover that it is based on a true event that occurred in Bolivia. A group of women and girls in an isolated, ultraconservative Mennonite colony are repeatedly drugged and raped by male members of their own community over a period of years. The women are told that God must be sending demons in the night to punish them for their sins. When the truth is revealed, through the heroic actions of ...
  • Wendy
    One of my most-anticipated books of Fall 2018: this book is bold, unusual, urgent, both timely and timeless. It's based on historical fact: an isolated group of Mennonite women discover that they have been systematically drugged and sexually assaulted by men in their community. The novel takes the form of a transcript of two conversations during which they decide whether to leave their community and enter a world none of them has ever been allowe...
  • Maria
    How do I review this book? It's just so damn important and something everyone should read. I saw Women Talking on display at Chapters and as soon as I opened it up and read the forward, I knew I had to read it (plus I've been walking to read some Miriam Toews). Women Talking is a fictional account of the real life crimes committed against mennonite Bolivian women. Between 2005 and 2009, in a remote Bolivian community, women were repeatedly waking...
  • Amber Daugherty
    Between 2005-2009 in a Mennonite community in Bolivia, women and girls were attacked during the night. They were told it was demons, that they were being punished by God for their sins, that they were making it up. Finally, someone caught one of the men responsible and eight men were convicted of using animal anesthetic to knock the women and girls out before raping them. That part is real. In Women Talking, Miriam Toews picks up the story and im...
  • Sonica •TheReadingBeautyBlog
    Thank you, Penguin Random House Canada, for sending me an advanced finished copy of this powerful and compelling book, in exchange for my honest review. This title hits bookstores August 21.This review took me a while to organize and compose. I felt like I needed to fully digest this one before spitting out an opinion on it, given the sensitive issues of the story. After thinking about it for a few days, I came to the conclusion that no matter wh...
  • Sherry Hinman
    It's difficult to review this book. I'm sure many will rate it highly, as it's brilliantly written and is an important story, desperately needing to be told. But I had a lot of trouble connecting with the story. This was disappointing to me, as I've thoroughly enjoyed other books I've read by Toews (All My Puny Sorrows and A Complicated Kindness). Most of this book reads like a play, as it takes place on a very small stage, with very little actio...