Lisa Taddeo’s debut Three Women was touted as groundbreaking. In reality it was a limp, occasionally overwritten account of the sexual hang-ups of three ordinary women. It took eight years to research and write. It didn’t seem worth it.
Luckily, she was also gathering material for a novel, Animal, a book teeming with the rage, frustration and drama so lacking in the debut. The same motifs and ideas —mothers, desire, shame — appear, but with a story that twists and turns.
Animal is the first-person account of Joan, a slightly unhinged 37-year-old woman: ‘I am depraved. I hope you like me.’ She leaves New York after her former lover shoots himself in the face in a restaurant while she’s on a date with another man.