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Publisher's Summary

"Listening to stories gives you many lives, telling them dims loneliness." (Marcela Serrano)

Nine Chilean women from vastly different backgrounds have been brought together by their beloved therapist, Natasha, to talk about their lives and help each other heal. From a teenage computer whiz confronting her sexual identity, to a middle-aged recluse who prefers the company of her dog over that of most humans, the women don’t have much in common on the surface. And yet as they tell their stories, unlikely common threads are discovered, bonds are formed, and lives are transformed. The women represent the many cultural, racial, and social groups that modern Chile is composed of - from housekeeper to celebrity television personality - and together their stories form a pastiche that is at times achingly sad, and at other times funny and inspiring. This is an intricately woven, beautifully rendered tale of the universal bonds between women from one of Latin America’s most celebrated novelists.

©2011 Marcela Serrano (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. English translation © 2014 by Beth Fowler. Epigraph from “Here” by Wisława Szymborska translated from Polish by Clare Cavanagh, published in the collection Here, reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding characterization

I loved everything about this book. Especially the deep profound characters. Women who by another author would have been reduced to pathetic victims, are given nobility in their personal stories.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The lives of women with an international twist

Not normally the sort of book I read but I picked it up on World Literature Day because it was written by a Chilean and focused on the lives of women, two topics that are intensely interesting to me. There is a chapter for each woman in the title, all of them survivors in one way or another. Their stories, while very personal, also contain much that any woman will recognize. They struggle to decide what to wear in the morning, how to raise their children, how to escape from bad relationships and how to accept love. Anyone who knows Chile will immediately relate to the sections dealing with particularly Chilean situations (the "disappeared") and landscapes. Anyone unfamiliar with Chile will learn a little about this far-away country, its classism, its extreme deserts, the way its political past still haunts many. The women of this book, with their darkness and chaos, overwhelmed me and filled me with wonder, much as Chile has permeated my being ever since I first arrived in 1984. Or like the sea in this wonderful passage from the book, as translated by Beth Fowler:

"I came to Chile to see whether I could tolerate it. The house on the beach at Isla Negra that Natasha's psychiatrist friend rented was an important factor in my decision to stay. Isla Negra as it was back then, before it became a Neruda fetish with tourists and buses and prints, was a solitary place. It received a very specific kind of visitor, the kind of people who found it a pleasure to wind up in the snack bar where we ate fried fish. We used to spend the weekends there and since we arrived in winter, my encounter with the Chilean sea was powerful. That sea at Isla Negra, its darkness, its chaos, its inaccessibility, penetrated my heart with an unexpected force, as did the pine forests and the immense rocks."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Engrossing look at women in Chile

In Santiago, Chile, ten women--nine patients and their therapist--meet. Normally the women receive individual therapy, but this time the therapist, Natasha, wants them all together in a group session. They will all talk about their lives.

They're all very different women, different backgrounds, different experiences. An elderly former actress, a nineteen-year-old computer whiz, a housekeeper, a woman from a wealthy, connected family, women who have struggled to become or remain middle class. The last story we get is Natasha's own, an immigrant with a broken and traumatic past of her own.

Yet despite the differences and the great gulfs between them, there are common threads. They find commonalities and recurring themes, experiences and struggles that link them all.

And for the American reader, not the original intended audience, it's a look at women in Chile, and how their experiences are both like and unlike our own. The women are all compelling; they do not all seem likable at first, and yet with each there is something to connect with. Chile's 20th century history, which younger readers may not have encountered before, plays a central role in the lives of these women.

I of course can't directly judge the quality of the translation, the result seems very good to me, clear and understandable without sounding like American voices are speaking. The narrator is also very good.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

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  • Ta2kitty
  • Desert Hot Springs, CA USA
  • 11-18-18

great read

absolutely love this broken I will definitely be listening to it again I thought the lady who read it did an amazing job I enjoyed the stories something is definitely going to stay in my library.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Don't bother

After trying to read 3 times, I gave up. This book is not what is promised in the review

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Interesting story... lots of profanity

I listened for quite a while before finally giving up. Lots of talk of sex, and the profanity just kept ramping up. Don’t buy if you’re sensitive about those things, as I am. If it doesn’t bother you, you might find it an interesting character study and commentary on many different aspects of Chilean culture and challenges.

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Long

Its along book but I enjoyed listening to it. Every woman has a story to tell.

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Wonderful, insightful, and a darn good read

Women sharing, and in doing so, growing. International, yet as close as your heart. You will love this book

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Touched my heart, inspiring

I love this book!!! So many facets of different women are described in this story.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Alright but not captivating

To be honest, I expected more from this book. At times I had to force myself to stick with it, especially since I didn’t finish the last 2 books I started. Just didn’t find them captivating. I think I stayed with this book because I was hoping/ waiting for more but it never came. At times it felt that the stories of these women kept on going and going about the same thing. I did enjoy learning about Chile. I enjoyed the pronunciation of names and places by the reader.

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  • Qwerty1
  • 07-06-14

Wake me upo when it's over

What would have made Ten Women better?

An actual story. This was basically 10 women telling their life story in turn. Each one went for far too long (over an hour) and if the stories had been true to life, or even interesting, I might have bothered finishing it. I found this book boring from the outset, and stuck with it for about 4 hours, then decided I had better things to listen to.

What will your next listen be?

Something with a storyline

What three words best describe Marisol Ramirez’s performance?

Boring boring boring

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The narrators voices were pleasant enough.

Any additional comments?

Don't bother.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful