Animal by Lisa Taddeo
I listened to Animal on audio which was really well narrated by Emma Roberts. That aside, once I got to the end, I had to immediately begin listening all over from the beginning. It’s that kind of book, so set aside plenty of time. This debut work of fiction is so original yet arises so obviously from Taddeo’s out-of-the-park-hit THREE WOMEN which was an exhaustively researched work of non-fiction. The book is written from the point of view of Joan, like a letter to an unknown somebody, the identity of who we discover at the end of the book. This is a story of a women’s shedding multiple layers of trauma, it is also a beautiful weaving of female relationships that result in unlikely love. Joan’s life is unalterably changed when her father has a child with another woman and the events that follow, and that child is the very person Joan seeks out in order to help her make sense of her life. She departs New York and heads to the heat of Los Angeles where her landlord drives her to commit her own violence. In having affairs with married men, Joan suffers the role of other woman, eventually befriending the daughter of the man she had an affair with, a young women she related to intimately. This book does not hold back on descriptions of sex or violence. Taddeo’s language is sparse and sometimes shocking and always revelatory.
Honestly, sometimes I think it’s the only recourse. Killing men in times like these.
Joan has spent a lifetime enduring the cruel acts of men. But when one of them commits a shocking act of violence in front of her, she flees New York City in search of Alice, the only person alive who can help her make sense of her past. In the sweltering hills above Los Angeles, Joan unravels the horrific event she witnessed as a child—that has haunted her every waking moment—while forging the power to finally strike back.
Here is the electrifying debut novel from Lisa Taddeo, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Three Women, which was named to more than thirty best-of-the-year lists and hailed as “a dazzling achievement” (Los Angeles Times) and “a heartbreaking, gripping, astonishing masterpiece” (Esquire). Animal is a depiction of female rage at its rawest, and a visceral exploration of the fallout from a male-dominated society. With writing that scorches and mesmerizes, Taddeo illustrates one woman’s exhilarating transformation from prey into predator.