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A Recommended Book From The New York Times Book Review * The Washington Post * Vogue * Entertainment Weekly * Marie Claire * Vulture * The Minneapolis Star-Tribune * LitHub * Crime Reads * PopSugar From the award-winning author of Wonder Valley and Visitation Street comes a serial killer story like you’ve never seen before—a literary thriller of female empowerment and social A Recommended Book From The New York Times Book Review * The Washington Post * Vogue * Entertainment Weekly * Marie Claire * Vulture * The Minneapolis Star-Tribune * LitHub * Crime Reads * PopSugar From the award-winning author of Wonder Valley and Visitation Street comes a serial killer story like you’ve never seen before—a literary thriller of female empowerment and social change In West Adams, a rapidly changing part of South Los Angeles, they’re referred to as “these women.” These women on the corner … These women in the club … These women who won’t stop asking questions … These women who got what they deserved …  In her masterful new novel, Ivy Pochoda creates a kaleidoscope of loss, power, and hope featuring five very different women whose lives are steeped in danger and anguish. They’re connected by one man and his deadly obsession, though not all of them know that yet. There’s Dorian, still adrift after her daughter’s murder remains unsolved; Julianna, a young dancer nicknamed Jujubee, who lives hard and fast, resisting anyone trying to slow her down; Essie, a brilliant vice cop who sees a crime pattern emerging where no one else does; Marella, a daring performance artist whose work has long pushed boundaries but now puts her in peril; and Anneke, a quiet woman who has turned a willfully blind eye to those around her for far too long. The careful existence they have built for themselves starts to crumble when two murders rock their neighborhood. Written with beauty and grit, tension and grace, These Women is a glorious display of storytelling, a once-in-a-generation novel.


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A Recommended Book From The New York Times Book Review * The Washington Post * Vogue * Entertainment Weekly * Marie Claire * Vulture * The Minneapolis Star-Tribune * LitHub * Crime Reads * PopSugar From the award-winning author of Wonder Valley and Visitation Street comes a serial killer story like you’ve never seen before—a literary thriller of female empowerment and social A Recommended Book From The New York Times Book Review * The Washington Post * Vogue * Entertainment Weekly * Marie Claire * Vulture * The Minneapolis Star-Tribune * LitHub * Crime Reads * PopSugar From the award-winning author of Wonder Valley and Visitation Street comes a serial killer story like you’ve never seen before—a literary thriller of female empowerment and social change In West Adams, a rapidly changing part of South Los Angeles, they’re referred to as “these women.” These women on the corner … These women in the club … These women who won’t stop asking questions … These women who got what they deserved …  In her masterful new novel, Ivy Pochoda creates a kaleidoscope of loss, power, and hope featuring five very different women whose lives are steeped in danger and anguish. They’re connected by one man and his deadly obsession, though not all of them know that yet. There’s Dorian, still adrift after her daughter’s murder remains unsolved; Julianna, a young dancer nicknamed Jujubee, who lives hard and fast, resisting anyone trying to slow her down; Essie, a brilliant vice cop who sees a crime pattern emerging where no one else does; Marella, a daring performance artist whose work has long pushed boundaries but now puts her in peril; and Anneke, a quiet woman who has turned a willfully blind eye to those around her for far too long. The careful existence they have built for themselves starts to crumble when two murders rock their neighborhood. Written with beauty and grit, tension and grace, These Women is a glorious display of storytelling, a once-in-a-generation novel.

30 review for These Women

  1. 4 out of 5

    Roxane

    I am a big fan of Pochoda's writing and this novel did not disappoint. It is a very gritty LA novel with a really interesting structure, the kind where the story advances as the point of view shifts. You never get the whole of the story but the pieces you do get come together nicely. It was jarring at first, the narrative style, but once I settled into it, I loved this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    karen

    NOW AVAILABLE!!!! review posted TODAY over at l.a. review of books! **************** UPDATE: my 1500-word review for this is currently 50 pages long and i haven't even BEGUN to address bird motifs! time to kill some darlings. *************** i will be reviewing this for l.a. review of books!!! come to my blog! NOW AVAILABLE!!!! review posted TODAY over at l.a. review of books! **************** UPDATE: my 1500-word review for this is currently 50 pages long and i haven't even BEGUN to address bird motifs! time to kill some darlings. *************** i will be reviewing this for l.a. review of books!!! come to my blog!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cheri

    !! NOW AVAILABLE !! 4.5 Stars ”It’s all about how we do in the dark. You know about that? You know anything about that? You know the streets? Do you? You’re really not going to say anything?” This story begins in the past, in 1999, the year the first bodies of these women took place, and travels back and forth between 1999 and 2014, when there seems to be reason to believe it might be happening again. The police had categorized all of the women in 1999 as prostitutes, but Dorian knows her da !! NOW AVAILABLE !! 4.5 Stars ”It’s all about how we do in the dark. You know about that? You know anything about that? You know the streets? Do you? You’re really not going to say anything?” This story begins in the past, in 1999, the year the first bodies of these women took place, and travels back and forth between 1999 and 2014, when there seems to be reason to believe it might be happening again. The police had categorized all of the women in 1999 as prostitutes, but Dorian knows her daughter, the 13th of the 13 murders in 1999, was just babysitting, and yet the police can’t be bothered to check the facts. Dorian owns a small fish shack, a place where the local teen girls come to hang out, flaunting their youthful bodies, rolling up the skirts of their uniforms, and Dorian can’t help but remember the days her Lecia was that age, and alive. We are led through the stories of each woman, their lives and the sorrows that permeate their lives; their dreams, as well as the nightmares they’ve endured, while their omnipresent gritty world shows us the realities of the lives of these women – both the ones who have lived through enormous sorrow, and those who have perished in the dark and dangerous corners of this Los Angeles neighborhood. Enter Essie Perry, a female cop who Dorian is sent to speak to about the dead hummingbirds being left at her home and work – mainly because the male cops don’t want to deal with this woman, with her dead daughter or these dead birds. But Perry actually finds it unlikely that these two things are completely unrelated. But is she right? Dorian is only one of the narrators in this story, Essie is another, and then there is Feelia, the only one to survive the 1999 attacks, a woman who still has the scars from it. Julianna, one of the neighborhood girls, who seems to be pulled into the life of a “working girl.” There is also a mother and daughter, Marella and Anneke. Mareiella, an aspiring artist, Anneke a woman who seems to feel like this country will never be home to her, and so keeps to herself, trying to keep herself, her family, her home and life in order. This story unravels slowly, and while we hear the stories of these women, and they share their individual stories, their stories blend into the shared story shared as though it is this neighborhood that is looking over them all – and sharing their dreams for the future and their sorrows from the past. After reading Pochoda’s Visitation Street, which I loved, and Wonder Valley, which I enjoyed, I was looking forward to reading this - despite the fact that I’m not typically drawn to “mysteries” or “thrillers,” but then again Pochoda’s stories tend to avoid the gory and scarier details of most thrillers. Instead, she tends to share these stories from an omniscient viewpoint, and unravels the mystery slowly, through some stunning writing, which I loved. Pub Date: 19 May 2020 Many thanks for the ARC provided by HarperCollins Publishers / Ecco

  4. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    In 1999, thirteen females in the West Adams section of South Central Los Angeles were brutally murdered. Most of the victims were sex workers, the one exception being a teenage babysitter named Lecia, who was the killer's last victim. The perpetrator wasn't caught and some people think the cops didn't try too hard because the women were 'throwaways.' Fifteen years later, in 2014, prostitutes in West Adams are being murdered again, in the same manner as before. The cops resist the idea that a ser In 1999, thirteen females in the West Adams section of South Central Los Angeles were brutally murdered. Most of the victims were sex workers, the one exception being a teenage babysitter named Lecia, who was the killer's last victim. The perpetrator wasn't caught and some people think the cops didn't try too hard because the women were 'throwaways.' Fifteen years later, in 2014, prostitutes in West Adams are being murdered again, in the same manner as before. The cops resist the idea that a serial killer is active again and they CERTAINLY don't want the new deaths connected to those in 1999. The story, which focuses on six women in West Adams, is set in 2014, with flashbacks to 1999. - Feelia was a streetwalker in 1999, but gave up the life after surviving a deadly attack. The incident seems to have disturbed Feelia's mind because she insists a white woman started stalking her right after the assault, and is still haunting her fifteen years later. Feelia shrieks and carries on whenever she 'sees' the woman, and shouts at people who try to shut her up. - Dorian is the mother of Lecia, the last girl killed in 1999. Dorian's spent years haunting the police station, insisting her daughter wasn't a prostitute, and exhorting them to find the killer. The grieving mother owns a fried fish shop in West Adams and feeds local streetwalkers who drop in. Now Dorian has been finding dead birds outside her restaurant, and thinks someone is trying to frighten her. - Julianna was the child being babysat by Lecia on the night the teen was slain. Now Julianna is grown up, a strip club waitress who provides 'extra services' in the back. Julianna drinks and uses drugs to get through the day, and fears she'll never be able to get out of the debasing lifestyle. Julianna's hobby is photography, and she constantly snaps pictures of her prostitute friends, documenting the bleakness of their lives. - Anneke is a married El Salvadoran woman who immigrated to Los Angeles with her husband and young daughter. The family is solidly middle class and Anneke wants nothing to do with (what she sees as) undesirable elements in the neighborhood. Anneke is obsessed with keeping her home and life in perfect order, and she sent her daughter Marella away to school to keep her safe. - Marella is Anneke's daughter, now in her twenties and an art school graduate. Marella does performance art as well as modern installations with moving images. Marella is living with her parents in West Adams, but has spent so much time away that she's almost a stranger to the area. Marella has bad memories of her life in El Salvador, and her art often depicts women as victims of sexual and physical violence. - Esmerelda (Essie) Perry is a police detective who moved from homicide to vice after an unfortunate incident. The male cops in Perry's station steer the 'nuisance complaints' her way, so she gets to hear Feelia's allegations of a stalker and Dorian's report about dead birds. As Perry is looking into these complaints she makes discoveries about the serial killer. The book doesn't focus on the identity of the serial killer, though that is revealed. The novel is more a character study than a murder mystery and Pochoda's portrayal of the six main characters, and the people around them, is vivid and perceptive - so we get a feel for the factors that shaped their lives. We also get a peek at the ambiance of West Adams: the clubs; the streets; the bridges; the former mansions split into apartments; the nosy neighbors; the commercial establishments; the mixture of people; and so on. Pochoda is a master storyteller and this is an excellent book. Highly recommended. Thanks to Netgalley, the author (Ivy Pochoda), and the publisher (HarperCollins Publishers/Ecco) for a copy of the book. You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jayme

    DO NOT READ THE BOOK SYNOPSIS-go in blind! This is a “spoiler free” snapshot of what to expect... Los Angeles-1999. Lecia’s throat has been slit, and a plastic bag is over her head. Feelia’s throat has been slit, and she has been left for dead. But, the cops don’t spend a lot of time investigating these deaths. After all, THESE WOMEN are just dancers and prostitutes..this is a risk that comes with the job. They are either addicted to the drugs or to the money, and most don’t even try to get out. DO NOT READ THE BOOK SYNOPSIS-go in blind! This is a “spoiler free” snapshot of what to expect... Los Angeles-1999. Lecia’s throat has been slit, and a plastic bag is over her head. Feelia’s throat has been slit, and she has been left for dead. But, the cops don’t spend a lot of time investigating these deaths. After all, THESE WOMEN are just dancers and prostitutes..this is a risk that comes with the job. They are either addicted to the drugs or to the money, and most don’t even try to get out. Los Angeles-2014 It’s raining. Highlighted passage: “The gutters are filling, the sewers are rushing, the trash that never gets picked up is swirling, flowing..a river of soda cups, Styrofoam containers, wrappers running along the curb.” And, another woman on Western, lying dead...throat slit-plastic bag over her head. Another one of THESE WOMEN.. But, this time, a cop is listening and linking the cases from fifteen years ago, with the cases happening today. 6 compelling voices A raw, ugly look at the “violence of everyday, the terror, and the ANGER” which can be L.A., written by an author who resides in the City of Angels. This book feels like it could be a true story. And, the last few chapters will have you feeling like it’s a story which could have been ripped from a headline occurring last week. Another HAUNTING novel , which is well worth your time!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    In your face street grit, don't know if that's a actual genre, but if not it should be. It definitely fits. Five women, two time periods, one man, a destroyer of lives, dead or alive. These are the women that are not listened too, those in the clubs, on street corners. Invisible women that are never taken seriously, those with throwaway lives. So when bodies of these women are found, it is easy to dismiss this as job risk. I mean what do you expect? They live in the shadows, they know the danger In your face street grit, don't know if that's a actual genre, but if not it should be. It definitely fits. Five women, two time periods, one man, a destroyer of lives, dead or alive. These are the women that are not listened too, those in the clubs, on street corners. Invisible women that are never taken seriously, those with throwaway lives. So when bodies of these women are found, it is easy to dismiss this as job risk. I mean what do you expect? They live in the shadows, they know the danger. Don't they? I love this author, her books are so well done. Shock value, she doesn't mince words, gives it to the reader as it really is. Gritty and real. Her books are page turners, and her characters, dialogue both realistic. She doesn't let you look away. Makes one see the downtrodden, open ones eyes to the fact that these women are there. They have lives, hopes, dreams just as we do, but for whatever reason they are where they are. This doesn't make them less worthy, less believable. Everyone has value and no one has the right to take that away.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gabby

    This ended up being just okay for me. This is being marketed as a mystery/thriller but I would say it feels more like literary fiction to me. I think I might have enjoyed it more if I had known what I was getting into but because I was expecting more of a thriller I ended up feeling pretty disappointed. Here's the vlog where I read this book: https://youtu.be/O_5X4UhwaOY This ended up being just okay for me. This is being marketed as a mystery/thriller but I would say it feels more like literary fiction to me. I think I might have enjoyed it more if I had known what I was getting into but because I was expecting more of a thriller I ended up feeling pretty disappointed. Here's the vlog where I read this book: https://youtu.be/O_5X4UhwaOY

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    A serial killer novel containing a glaringly obvious message about women who are not heard nor valued. Unlike many serial killer novels the killer is not the focus, the women are. It is an uncompromising depiction of the rough streets of South L.A as well as the silencing of women deemed to be worthless and deserving of their fate. Although not pleasant subject matter to read, this novel succeeds in giving voice to voiceless.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ If you can’t tell from the timing of this review in relation to the publication date and the placeholder “review” below, apparently begging sometimes works. After reading both Visitation Street and Wonder Valley I was all over this request like stink on shit. I absolutely did not need a blurb, but I loved the one provided . . . . . A serial killer story like you've never seen before. This is a serial killer story – one that takes pl Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ If you can’t tell from the timing of this review in relation to the publication date and the placeholder “review” below, apparently begging sometimes works. After reading both Visitation Street and Wonder Valley I was all over this request like stink on shit. I absolutely did not need a blurb, but I loved the one provided . . . . . A serial killer story like you've never seen before. This is a serial killer story – one that takes place in South Central L.A. that started 15 years prior with thirteen women (all presumed to be prostitutes by the police) being found dead in back alleys with their throats slit and plastic bags over their heads – but it’s a serial killer story delivered in Ivy Pochoda’s style. In case you aren’t familiar with the way this author writes a mystery, the whodunit factor doesn’t really even start to ramp up until the 60% mark (and is solved by around 80%). Her stories aren’t about the killer – or necessarily even about the victims – they are about the community. Narrators here include Dorian – whose 15-year old daughter was one of the victims so many years ago, Julianna – a young girl from the neighborhood who finds herself falling further into the same lifestyle as the victims of the past, Essie – a vice cop with a jaded past, Marella – a wannabe artist who may have been from the neighborhood, but lived a different sheltered life, Anneke – Marella’s mother who simply wants to keep her house in order, and Feelia – the sole survivor. Oh, and dare I forget the most important character in all of Pochoda’s stories – the neighborhood. This time it’s . . . . . The time hops between the past of 1999 when the first bodies started showing up and the present (in this case 2014) where it might be happening again. So yes, it’s a story about a serial killer, but it’s also a story that touches on race and privilege and upbringing and circumstance and obligations and wrong place/wrong time and so much more. You’ll know fairly quickly if you dig Pochoda’s style. Obviously I love it. Her writing makes me want to say things that I’m not young or hip enough to say like . . . . . Easily one of my favorite authors. All the Stars. ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley! ORIGINAL "REVIEW" It worked earlier this week sooooooooooooooooooo . . . . If these publishers would just give me their home phone numbers I wouldn't have to do these public displays ; )

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ceecee

    In 1999, 13 women are murdered in the Western Adams are of South Central LA. Most of the victims are sex workers, there is never an arrest possibly because the police never tried too hard as maybe they see it as an ‘occupational hazard’. The murders begin again in 2014. The story focuses on ‘these women’ and tells the story from their undervalued point of view. There’s Feelia the only survivor from 1999 whose voice is heard loud and clear in the book, there’s Dorian mother of 15 year old Lecia a In 1999, 13 women are murdered in the Western Adams are of South Central LA. Most of the victims are sex workers, there is never an arrest possibly because the police never tried too hard as maybe they see it as an ‘occupational hazard’. The murders begin again in 2014. The story focuses on ‘these women’ and tells the story from their undervalued point of view. There’s Feelia the only survivor from 1999 whose voice is heard loud and clear in the book, there’s Dorian mother of 15 year old Lecia and not a sex worker and the last 1999 victim. Dorian never recovers from the tragic loss. Another voice is Julianna also know as Jujubee who had been Lecia’s friend and Dorian babysat, who is being drawn into the waitressing world of ‘extra services’. There’s Anneke who resents the presence of the street corner women and her artist daughter Marella and finally there’s Detective Essie Perry. The storyline goes between 1999 and 2014 and from the perspectives of the different characters. This is a very different book as this one is not about the killer (although he is unmasked) but it’s about the women and we get to understand them rather than delve into a serial killers mind. I like this premise very much and it makes you fully appreciate that with few exceptions it’s the serial killers names we know and rarely the victims. How wrong is that?? Their voices are resonating and powerful although it’s not always easy reading. Feelia the survivors voice makes a particularly powerful impact but it also provokes some anger that she is not listened to properly as she has some crucial evidence to impart. Dorian is dogged in not allowing her daughter to be forgotten but she is burdened by the sadness. I like how Julianna splits to Jujubee to disassociate from what she’s drawn into. Marella’s art tries to capture the violence, she is a very dark and damaged woman. Her mother Anneke is simply poisonous and just plain wrong in every way. Essie is tenacious and likeable. The characterisation is vivid and rich and we clearly see the personalities of these women, their dashed hopes, shattered dreams and ruined lives. I like how the book resolves and the ending is dramatic. Overall, this is a very well written, thought provoking book which gives a voice to the voiceless. It flows well between the timelines and the characters. There is much to admire here but it isn’t comfortable reading. With thanks to NetGalley and Faber and Faber for the ARC.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Elle

    This was a fascinating character study of six women living in Los Angeles. Split between the years 1999 and 2014, bear witness to the lives of these women that move within or adjacent to L.A.’s darker underbelly. I hadn’t heard of Ivy Pochoda before picking this one up, but she’s a beautiful writer, even when writing about sinister subject matter. She really nailed the distinct voices of each woman in their respective chapters. Dorian, Julianna, Essie, Marella, Anneke and Feelia exist in the vici This was a fascinating character study of six women living in Los Angeles. Split between the years 1999 and 2014, bear witness to the lives of these women that move within or adjacent to L.A.’s darker underbelly. I hadn’t heard of Ivy Pochoda before picking this one up, but she’s a beautiful writer, even when writing about sinister subject matter. She really nailed the distinct voices of each woman in their respective chapters. Dorian, Julianna, Essie, Marella, Anneke and Feelia exist in the vicinity of one another, but their worlds very rarely overlap. That is, until they’re forced into proximity by the heinous acts of a man seemingly unknown to them. While this might fit into the Mystery/Thriller genre, if you’re looking for something you can ‘solve’, this probably won’t be it. The answer of who is behind all of the murders is pretty obvious once you get a decent way into the novel. But that’s part of it, the fact that the audience knows who is responsible. It ups the tension and refocuses you’re attention. This is not the story of the-guy-who-did-it, but of the women who fell into his path. He is only consequential in the ways in which he affected them. There’s a lot at play in this book. Who does society care about? What types of people are expected to ‘fall through the cracks’? What types of privilege allow these men to get away with acts of violence over and over again? Why do we insist on holding women responsible for the crimes of the men around them? The author is smart in how she asks these questions, then backs away to let the reader try to answer them. (view spoiler)[For me, I found the way Marella and Anneke acted to be particularly nauseating. A young, privileged white woman stealing the pictures that a young Latina woman, who was just murdered violently, for her own perverse art installation is bad enough. But the fact that it’s Marella’s father who ended Julianna’s life is just egregious. And Anneke...Jesus Christ. The poisoning of the birds was the tipping point for me. She’s punishing the mother of one of her husband’s victims in such a cruel way. That whole family is fuuuucked up. (hide spoiler)] These Women was gritty and addicting. It’s probably not going to be heart-racing, but there’s a lot to mull over even after you’ve finished it. I can tell it’s going to be one of those works that lingers for days. And I’m definitely interested in discovering what else Pochoda has come out with. *Thanks to HarperCollins & Netgalley for an advance copy!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bkwmlee

    4.5 stars Six women from different walks of life. A series of murders, fifteen years apart. One particularly destitute area of South Los Angeles where chaos and violence run rampant. A society that collectively ignores the pleas of those women who are deemed to be of dubious moral character, based solely on preconceived notions, imagined or otherwise. A place where prejudice goes beyond merely the color of one’s skin, extending also to one’s occupation, the way one speaks, and overall way one li 4.5 stars Six women from different walks of life. A series of murders, fifteen years apart. One particularly destitute area of South Los Angeles where chaos and violence run rampant. A society that collectively ignores the pleas of those women who are deemed to be of dubious moral character, based solely on preconceived notions, imagined or otherwise. A place where prejudice goes beyond merely the color of one’s skin, extending also to one’s occupation, the way one speaks, and overall way one lives their life. This is the world where author Ivy Pochoda sets her heartbreaking yet masterfully told story, and in so doing, gives voice to women who are often forsaken, their thoughts and feelings usually dismissed, their words rarely ever believed. Though this is billed as a mystery / thriller, it is apparent very early on in the book that “solving the mystery” of the murders, while necessary, is not as important as letting the stories of these women be told, allowing their voices to be heard. As is expected, of course the perpetrator of the crimes is identified in the end — it was an easy guess, one already figured out a few chapters in, before the first narrative segment was even over. The way he is found out though is anticlimactic, downplayed, sparse on details — we don’t know too much about him, his background, why he became the way he was, even the details of how he committed his crimes are not entirely clear. But that is the beauty of how Pochoda structured the narrative — there’s no need to dwell too much on the killer because in the end, who he is doesn’t really matter. What matters are the women — the victims of his crimes and the family members who get left behind to deal with the aftermath. Especially poignant are the segments about the mothers — Dorian, Mrs. Holloway, etc. — whose only way to grieve is to make sure their children’s deaths are not ignored and brushed aside as though their existence never mattered in the first place; their mission then, becomes making sure what was done is never forgotten. For me, despite having already figured out the “mystery” way early on, I kept turning the pages because I wanted to know whether justice would prevail in the end, and whether these women, ignored for so long, would finally be heard. Reading this book made me reflect on a lot of things. It made me think about family, society, the impact of individual actions and behavior, etc. — most importantly, it served as a reminder of the differences in each of our circumstances and the dangers of passing judgment, especially in those situations where there the understanding of those circumstances is lacking. These Women is a powerful story, one that absolutely deserves to be read. With that said though, this is not an easy read by any means — many of the scenes are dark, gritty, gruesome, violent, and there is profanity galore. It can also be a frustrating read, at times even painful, especially in light of the blatant injustices that take place time and time again throughout the story. But yet, there is also grace, hope, resilience, and most significantly, the steadfast courage of these women who, despite being constantly ignored, still refuse to be silenced. A difficult read, but definitely a worthy one! Received ARC from Ecco (HarperCollins) via NetGalley.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Pretty Woman, this is not. There’s no Beverly Wilshire Hotel, horse races, glam dates, or jewelry. Strictly the streets of Los Angeles at its grittiest. Hot, grimy, and dangerous. Five women plying their trade attempting to escape or reverse misfortune. Each character’s narrative is written with respect and heartbreak as they navigate the city’s underbelly. It’s often depressing, and difficult to read. A serial killer ties them together. Need I say more? The book is beautifully written and the auth Pretty Woman, this is not. There’s no Beverly Wilshire Hotel, horse races, glam dates, or jewelry. Strictly the streets of Los Angeles at its grittiest. Hot, grimy, and dangerous. Five women plying their trade attempting to escape or reverse misfortune. Each character’s narrative is written with respect and heartbreak as they navigate the city’s underbelly. It’s often depressing, and difficult to read. A serial killer ties them together. Need I say more? The book is beautifully written and the author’s talent was the shining beacon for me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Roman Clodia

    A dead hooker, not a dead mom, not a dead woman. A disrespect almost worse than murder. A bold and outspoken response to all those serial killer stories out there that are centred on the male killer: Pochoda instead focuses on women connected to a string of violent sexual murders and foregrounds themes of fear, grief, dogged persistence in the face of disbelief and the challenge of getting female voices heard in a culture which still prioritizes the masculine. Pochoda's writing is pliant and A dead hooker, not a dead mom, not a dead woman. A disrespect almost worse than murder. A bold and outspoken response to all those serial killer stories out there that are centred on the male killer: Pochoda instead focuses on women connected to a string of violent sexual murders and foregrounds themes of fear, grief, dogged persistence in the face of disbelief and the challenge of getting female voices heard in a culture which still prioritizes the masculine. Pochoda's writing is pliant and surprisingly lyrical given the dark subject matter, and she really gets under the skins of her characters whether working girls or an anguished mother. This is where the real strength of this story lies and the voice of Feelia is especially strong. In fact, it's where the 'crime' plot comes to the fore that the book starts to weaken. I applaud the intent to subordinate the perpetrator's story to the main female-focused narrative but I found the unravelling of motive and psyche wasn't quite credible... Still, that's not really the point as this is the women's story - all the women, regardless of what work they do to survive. For all the brutality, this is ultimately, I think, an angry but hopeful narrative of survival, resistance and steadfastness in the face of a refusal to hear. Thanks to Faber & Faber for an ARC via NetGalley.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    Dorian feeds the working girls in South L.A. out of the back of her restaurant.  Her daughter Lecia was murdered 15 years ago but the police didn't spend much time on the case, believing she had been a prostitute.  Anger is always simmering beneath the surface for Dorian as she looks back at Lecia's life and how unimportant it was to the police who only saw what they wanted.  Taking care of "these women" that the law chooses to ignore is a way in which Dorian copes. Julianna was just a little gir Dorian feeds the working girls in South L.A. out of the back of her restaurant.  Her daughter Lecia was murdered 15 years ago but the police didn't spend much time on the case, believing she had been a prostitute.  Anger is always simmering beneath the surface for Dorian as she looks back at Lecia's life and how unimportant it was to the police who only saw what they wanted.  Taking care of "these women" that the law chooses to ignore is a way in which Dorian copes. Julianna was just a little girl when her babysitter Lecia was murdered and she was the last person to see her alive.  Now Julianna is a rebellious young woman dancing for a living with dreams of being a photographer. Marella is an up and coming performance artist who spent most of her childhood with relatives while attending private schools. Her mother, Anneke, is quiet and aloof.  She did the best she could for her Marella, sending her away for the best education and to keep her from harm.  While she was willing to admit the dangers of the street, she has turned a blind eye to the dangers closer to home. When police begin to find prostitutes around the city, they don't want to admit there is a pattern because that would involve more paperwork and sending the public into a panic over a serial killer. Essie is the vice cop willing to speak up about the pattern.  She's also open minded enough to see the similarities between the current murders and a string of unsolved cases 15 years ago, which included Dorian's daughter. When former prostitute Feelia is sent to Essie's desk to make a report about a woman that has been stalking her for fifteen years, Essie's sharp observations allow her to see a connection no one else has. These Women is a gritty novel that gives a voice to women who are often ignored or looked down upon due to their circumstances.  It speaks volumes about society and our justice system.  The storytelling is absolutely phenomenal; Pochoda has given a powerful voice to each character and connects them all in seamless and compelling ways that eventually deliver justice. I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy mystery/thrillers and contemporary crime fiction. Thanks to Ecco and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.  These Women is scheduled for release on May 19, 2020. For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kelli

    Ivy Pochoda is a rare talent. A step past atmospheric, she makes the neighborhoods, streets, homes, and local establishments important, evolving characters in her stories...and in this story, she has outdone herself. She addresses change, lack of progress, and pervasive prejudice, while asking the reader to consider whether those with such disdain for these women are, in fact, the reprehensible ones. She breathes life into these women, providing the reader with true insight into each one's uniqu Ivy Pochoda is a rare talent. A step past atmospheric, she makes the neighborhoods, streets, homes, and local establishments important, evolving characters in her stories...and in this story, she has outdone herself. She addresses change, lack of progress, and pervasive prejudice, while asking the reader to consider whether those with such disdain for these women are, in fact, the reprehensible ones. She breathes life into these women, providing the reader with true insight into each one's unique voice...and she does this like no other. Vivid, raw, and real, this story raised the hair on my arms almost throughout with it's timely message. Though this deserves a far better review than I am capable of articulating at the moment, telling you any more about it would rob you of the experience. It is brilliant. 5 stars

  17. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    “These Women” by Ivy Pochoda is a feminist study on how American culture views women, specifically socioeconomically disadvantaged women. She places her story in east and central Los Angeles, describing in detail the changes of the neighborhoods through the timeframe of the novel. What binds the story is a bit of a thriller: there is a series of sex worker deaths; the police show little interest in finding the killer. Pochoda writes her thriller through a female character driven novel. Feelia beg “These Women” by Ivy Pochoda is a feminist study on how American culture views women, specifically socioeconomically disadvantaged women. She places her story in east and central Los Angeles, describing in detail the changes of the neighborhoods through the timeframe of the novel. What binds the story is a bit of a thriller: there is a series of sex worker deaths; the police show little interest in finding the killer. Pochoda writes her thriller through a female character driven novel. Feelia begins the novel in 1999 building tension as she is a victim who no one listens to. Dorian takes the next part of the story, resetting the story to 2014. Dorian lost her daughter in a similar manner to Fellia’s assault. There are five narrators and each narration is akin to a novella of their lives. Each narrator provides a glimpse into their frustrated and ignored lives. In each story, the narrator is dismissed, ignored, and unworthy of attention. This is a slow burn of a thriller. We get the history and backstory to each character. Pochoda prose is emotionally moving. She illuminates how women are part of repression in society. The narrators are two victims, two mothers, and a policewoman. All their stories intersect in 2014. There are a total of thirteen unsolved murders of girls in fifteen years. But because these girls appear to be “working” girls in the sex trade, no one cares, other than the mothers. Ivy Pochoda is an author who writes stories about people in the margins, the ignored. This story is one that will leave the reader uneasy.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    Honestly, this might just be my book of the year. Ivy Pochoda has written one hell of a book - believe the hype in this case, people, because not only did These Women live up to it, it surpassed it all. I'm always cautious about books with this kind of buzz, because there's only so many times you can be let down before you give up. But then I read an interview where the author said - among other things - something I've been waiting a long time to hear; serial killers aren't criminal masterminds. Honestly, this might just be my book of the year. Ivy Pochoda has written one hell of a book - believe the hype in this case, people, because not only did These Women live up to it, it surpassed it all. I'm always cautious about books with this kind of buzz, because there's only so many times you can be let down before you give up. But then I read an interview where the author said - among other things - something I've been waiting a long time to hear; serial killers aren't criminal masterminds. The hunt for them might be what interests people, but at their inevitable capture, they're invariably a let-down, a man in the place of the monster we invent in our heads. And hallelujah, because (much as I love a good serial killer novel) I am over hyping these twisted, sad little men into the all-powerful demons they believe themselves to be. So I picked up this book! And instead of a cat and mouse game building to an epic showdown, I was met with the voices of women who spoke to me about desperation, about what it's like to be invisible for being too poor, too black, too old, too female. They showed me their lives, revealed to me their part in a greater chain that looped the crimes central to the book, and pieced together a story that is all too familiar. All this to say that this book is actual perfection, and I'll be pushing it onto everyone I know. I'm so excited to go and read everything Ivy Pochoda has ever written!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michael David

    Another gritty and sometimes difficult book to read about a serial killer preying on prostitutes. In 1999, 13 women are murdered in South Los Angeles. All but one of them were sex workers. The killer seemingly vanished after those instances. That is until 2014, when the same type of murder starts to ramp up again. THESE WOMEN is told from the perspectives of a woman who survived her attack in 1999, a woman whose daughter was killed in 1999 even though she wasn’t a prostitute, a young woman who u Another gritty and sometimes difficult book to read about a serial killer preying on prostitutes. In 1999, 13 women are murdered in South Los Angeles. All but one of them were sex workers. The killer seemingly vanished after those instances. That is until 2014, when the same type of murder starts to ramp up again. THESE WOMEN is told from the perspectives of a woman who survived her attack in 1999, a woman whose daughter was killed in 1999 even though she wasn’t a prostitute, a young woman who used to be babysat by one of the victims and seems to sliding into the sex worker way of life, a police officer working vice in the neighborhood, a young woman who uses her art to show the violence and grit of the world, and the artist’s mother, who is set in her ways. I loved the powerful writing by author Ivy Pochoda. We basically read each woman’s section before moving on to the next. Through these separate views, we get bits and pieces that tie together to tell the whole story. I found it absolutely riveting how one story/character connected to the next to keep things moving along. Even though the story revolves around a serial killer, the main focus is on the women...and how they are trying to go through life and deal with their situations. There are also some powerful and anger-inducing moments about the way some people are unable to get justice based on prejudice. Some of these moments are similar to what is going on in the world right now. I know those who have read “Please See Us”, which also came out this year, will be wondering how the books compare. I can happily say that despite what the descriptions sound like, the two novels are quite different. I never once forgot that I was reading a book based in South L.A. I didn’t get it confused with Atlantic City. The way the stories are structured are quite different. I never thought about “Please See Us” during the actual moments I was reading this novel. I only thought about the two when I stepped away. There is one that I would rank higher than the other, and would be happy to let anyone know via DM, but would rather not share it in this review. I think both of these novels stand on their own, and I think both of them deserve attention.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    "These women. These women, beautiful and wild. Out of control." YAASSS! I actually applauded when I finished this book. Kudos to you Ivy Pochoda. It's been a long time since a book has made me feel this way. Billed as a mystery but so much more. A condemnation of our society and its glossing over the violence perpetrated against women. A rally cry for the women who are foresaken, their pleas ignored. I loved the voices of these women. Dorian - Mother of murder victim. Fifteen years later she feel "These women. These women, beautiful and wild. Out of control." YAASSS! I actually applauded when I finished this book. Kudos to you Ivy Pochoda. It's been a long time since a book has made me feel this way. Billed as a mystery but so much more. A condemnation of our society and its glossing over the violence perpetrated against women. A rally cry for the women who are foresaken, their pleas ignored. I loved the voices of these women. Dorian - Mother of murder victim. Fifteen years later she feels as if her cries of lament are futile; her anger wasted. Feelia - Survivor. Course in her language, she is open, honest and raw. Juliana - Restless creative. Tired of sniffing llelo and working out the backrooms of bars, she tries to find her way in a world that threatens to swallow her up. The writing caught me up at the very first page and Pochoda did not let up. She ends with this powerful message: "You can hope and pretend. You can imagine that the world is violent and that it has nothing to do with you-that the women who die nearby are a symptom of an abstract evil, a distant one. Because to do otherwise would be overwhelming, it would undo you from the inside out, rip you apart just as badly as if you were one of the victims yourself. In fact, to do so would be unimaginable because being in the presence of that sort of violence, confronting it at the breakfast table, reaching over it to turn out the bedside light-that, well, that is impossible." Special thanks to NetGalley, Harper Collins and Ivy Pochoda for advanced access to this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Gail

    You can hope and pretend. You can imagine that the world is violent and that it has nothing to do with you - that the women who die nearby are a symptom of an abstract evil, a distant one. Because to do otherwise would be overwhelming, it would undo you from the inside out, rip you apart just as badly as if you were one of the victims yourself. This book is motherfucking brilliant, y’all. It hit me in my soul. Review to come very soon. Thanks SO SO much to Edelweiss and Ecco for the review copy You can hope and pretend. You can imagine that the world is violent and that it has nothing to do with you - that the women who die nearby are a symptom of an abstract evil, a distant one. Because to do otherwise would be overwhelming, it would undo you from the inside out, rip you apart just as badly as if you were one of the victims yourself. This book is motherfucking brilliant, y’all. It hit me in my soul. Review to come very soon. Thanks SO SO much to Edelweiss and Ecco for the review copy!

  22. 4 out of 5

    debra

    Really well written. I didn't know if it was 4 or 5 *s, but after so much time all of these women (Ha!)and their stories are each so individually vivid, so it is 5*s. Read Kelly (and the Book Boar)'s excellent, not to mention,much more coherent review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    OutlawPoet

    If I had to reduce this book to two words, they would be: grief and rage. This is one of those books that tears into you and doesn’t let you go – even after you read the last page. These Women is about the women people whisper about and scoff at. It’s about the women who die in a filthy alley and instead of caring, the police and the press and the neighbors all look down their noses at the corpse saying, “But the way she lived…”. It’s the addicts and the sex workers and the women who simply die for If I had to reduce this book to two words, they would be: grief and rage. This is one of those books that tears into you and doesn’t let you go – even after you read the last page. These Women is about the women people whisper about and scoff at. It’s about the women who die in a filthy alley and instead of caring, the police and the press and the neighbors all look down their noses at the corpse saying, “But the way she lived…”. It’s the addicts and the sex workers and the women who simply die for being brown or poor. And, yes, it’s grief and rage. It’s not an easy read, but it’s powerful and compelling and I simply didn’t want to put it down. Five well deserved stars. • ARC Provided via Net Galley

  24. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Giveaway win!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about them much after seeing them. Given where I grew up I saw them fairly often, the women that walked the streets that stood so near my own yet looked worlds apart. And they pretty much were that: theirs a world practically war-torn, filled with darkness and grit, a weathered exterior on display for any and all to see; mine the polar opposite, sheltered and lilywhite, so idealistic it oftentimes felt surreal. The surrealism was actually happening on their I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about them much after seeing them. Given where I grew up I saw them fairly often, the women that walked the streets that stood so near my own yet looked worlds apart. And they pretty much were that: theirs a world practically war-torn, filled with darkness and grit, a weathered exterior on display for any and all to see; mine the polar opposite, sheltered and lilywhite, so idealistic it oftentimes felt surreal. The surrealism was actually happening on their side of the fence – or, more accurately, Alter Road on Detroit’s east side – where the unimaginable happened. Drugs. Prostitution. Murder. All less than five minutes away. As a kid I was too young to understand the disparity, taught to turn a blind eye. As a teen, exploring this netherworld was an experimentation that was equal parts rebellion and exploration (it was also where you could buy beer underage). By college, I realized it was a sociological phenomenon worthy of textbook entries. And it has been documented. The disproportion, that is. But what about the people – more specifically, the women – directly affected by it? The street workers, the hustlers, the downtrodden and homeless? These stories often go glossed over, considered another casualty in an endless series of them. They’re byproducts of their environment, and their environment has turned on them completely, swallowed them whole. As if they never existed to begin with. I couldn’t help but think of the forgotten upon reading Ivy Pochoda’s latest work, These Women. Part literary thriller, part character study, the novel is a deep exploration into the underbelly of the streets: its culture, its temptations, its soul-sucking powers. What’s more, These Women presents an unfamiliar side of a familiar setting, that being the Los Angeles we all know (and some love). Or thought we knew. Pochoda doesn’t posit the city as one full of glitz and glamour, but as a battlefield. And the women who work it, live it, survive it, are merely its soldiers. And they’re being taken down. A serial killer that had terrorized the rapidly-evolving West Adams community on L.A.’s southside in the late ‘90s has made a return. This feels all too familiar to Dorian, the first of “these women” Pochoda profiles. The owner and proprietor of a fish shack in the heart of West Adams, Dorian is a woman bereft with grief: her own daughter was victim to a brutal murder 15 years prior, in 1999. The police stood by twiddling their thumbs, assuming it was just another lost girl privy to trouble, a victim of circumstance. But Dorian knew better, believed her daughter wasn’t like the others; she spent the better part of a decade-and-a-half preaching such, but to no avail. Meanwhile, the last person to see Dorian’s daughter alive, a hard- and fast-living dancer named Julianna (her street name being Jujubee), has grown up to become another wayward soul amidst a sea riddled with them. She refuses to cross the imaginary threshold from dancer to hooker; yet such a path feels inevitable given Julianna’s proclivity for excess. Except that Julianna is more than just her Jujubee persona; she has ambitions outside of partying hard and worrying about it later. A budding photographer, she captures the grit and grime of the streets she roams, poised to be the next Nan Goldin. That is, if she can shake away the Jujubee part of her life. Pochoda doesn’t just focus on those living within West Adams’ clutches, but also that of one trying to loosen its grip. Essie is a superb vice detective who’s working the serial killer case, yet one saddled with baggage. She’s also the only authoritative figure who seems to give a shit, hardened exterior and all. Yet even her interest in these women – and the killer who’s taking them down – takes some time and convincing. Anneke needn’t any convincing. A longtime resident of West Adams, she’s been harboring a disdain for those who’ve worked her neighborhood for years. Controlling and calculating, Anneke instead brings order to her own house to ensure the outside never comes in. She sends her daughter, Marella, away to boarding schools as a way to shield her from all of West Adams’ temptations. And yet Marella returns, fresh out of art school and looking to make her name as a performance artist. Her subject? West Adams, of course. More specifically, those who inhabit its streets. All five of these lives intersect – some more skillfully than others – their connection, of course, being West Adams. However, it’s the character of Feelia that best ties together Pochoda’s narrative, she being the street worker who’d been the lone survivor of the initial wave of attacks in the late 90’s. At first dismissed as crazy and delusional, she’s later seen as integral to finding and catching the killer. Pochoda artfully weaves Feelia’s story through each of her protagonists’ sections; she’s equal parts fallen and guardian angel. She also represents all of the women These Women lends its voice to. “It’s all about how we do in the dark,” says Feelia towards the novel’s onset. It feels like more than just a statement of fact; it’s a warning: where darkness lies, so too does trouble. Kudos to Ivy Pochoda for bringing some light to the darkness, some awareness to all of the trouble that far too often goes overlooked, ignored, all but forgotten. It can be so easy to do so.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sarah-Hope

    I want to open by saying that These Women is not an easy read. It is a compelling, thought-provoking read, but it is not easy. These Women takes place in a blighted Los Angeles neighborhood, where families struggle to survive and where many women find themselves slipping down into riskier and riskier types of sex work. Sixteen years ago, prostitutes in the neighborhood were being murdered by a serial killer. The deaths suddenly stopped—now they have started back up again. These Women is not a gor I want to open by saying that These Women is not an easy read. It is a compelling, thought-provoking read, but it is not easy. These Women takes place in a blighted Los Angeles neighborhood, where families struggle to survive and where many women find themselves slipping down into riskier and riskier types of sex work. Sixteen years ago, prostitutes in the neighborhood were being murdered by a serial killer. The deaths suddenly stopped—now they have started back up again. These Women is not a gore-fest, and the murders themselves aren't depicted. These Women explores the lives of six women in this community: several of the killer's targets, the vice detective trying to convince her superiors that the current murders are connected to those from the past, the mother of one of the murdered women, and a mother and daughter living in the neighborhood. Ivy Pochoda makes each of these women a strong character in her own way. I raced through this book, wanting to get to know these women, wishing the best for them, fearing the worst. If you feel strong enough to share these women's difficult lives, you will be rewarded with a remarkable, painful, and ultimately humanizing reading experience. I received a free electronic review copy of this book from the publisher via EdelweissPlus. The opinions are my own.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    3.5 rounded up 1999. Lecia, a teenage babysitter is murdered - the 13th victim of a serial killer targetting marginalised women - mostly prostitutes - in LA. Her mother, Dorian, makes it her mission to ensure the police track down her killer. And then, as suddenly as they started the murders stop. Skip forward to 2014, and women of similar backgrounds start being murdered again. And Essie Perry, a cop recently transferred from homicide to vice is the only person who seems to care and see the conne 3.5 rounded up 1999. Lecia, a teenage babysitter is murdered - the 13th victim of a serial killer targetting marginalised women - mostly prostitutes - in LA. Her mother, Dorian, makes it her mission to ensure the police track down her killer. And then, as suddenly as they started the murders stop. Skip forward to 2014, and women of similar backgrounds start being murdered again. And Essie Perry, a cop recently transferred from homicide to vice is the only person who seems to care and see the connection. These Women follows the stories of five women whose lives are brought together by these crimes. As other reviewers have mentioned, this novel sets itself apart by focusing almost exclusively on the victims rather than the serial killer themselves. A fast paced read which veers more towards the literary side of the thriller genre, I can totally see this being THE book to read this summer. Thank you Netgalley and Faber and Faber for the advance copy, which was provided in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Inkslinger

    ARC provided by Harper Collins and Ivy Pochoda via Edelweiss+. All opinions are mine and freely given. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | BookBub 05-19: Chills. That's what I get now when I re-read the synopsis for 'These Women' by Ivy Pochoda. When I first came across this story, I was certainly intrigued. In life, I've said tearful goodbyes to my share of 'the lost,' which is how I see the many I feel are sadly overlooked. As is true with the characters in this book, the lost can come from a ARC provided by Harper Collins and Ivy Pochoda via Edelweiss+. All opinions are mine and freely given. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | BookBub 05-19: Chills. That's what I get now when I re-read the synopsis for 'These Women' by Ivy Pochoda. When I first came across this story, I was certainly intrigued. In life, I've said tearful goodbyes to my share of 'the lost,' which is how I see the many I feel are sadly overlooked. As is true with the characters in this book, the lost can come from any demographic.. from any lifestyle.. from any past or future. Tragedy doesn't pick and choose.. deciding on some mystical idea of a deserving few. That's a uniquely human trait. To see the worst occur and blame the victims. Told from the perspective of several women, this shifting narrative gives the reader a glimpse of what it's like to walk in each woman's proverbial shoes. Outwardly, it tells a story about a gruesome string of murders spanning two decades, and those whose lives are rocked by them. It doesn't cease with the victimization of the murders, but rather expands to include the unstated victims as well. Those orbiting the women who are killed.. family, friends, neighbors, police.. even the murderer and their circle of influence. Inwardly, it's about much more. It's about the minimalization of women. Not just in death, but in life and not in an overblown, sensationalistic way either.. though, that's here too. In the little things.. like the way sometimes it's assumed our perspective just isn't true. In the ways not only outsiders can push us down, but sometimes those we see as friends.. who opt instead to leverage us for their benefit. Though it's not just a women's issue, the act of tearing each other down, isn't exclusive to us. In my personal experience, it can at least seem like we do it much more than men. I was deeply moved by each of these stories, the misrepresentations, the misunderstandings, the darkness you can see coming a mile away.. but can't seem to move out of. And that's what it's like in some cases. I had a friend in junior high.. who was often out on her own with other kids in her situation. Her parents were more involved in themselves than her. Despite appearances, to a degree I suppose that was the case for all of them, but her details I knew well. She had a warm, wonderful nature. When she wasn't at school or hanging out with friends, she actually volunteered at an animal shelter. When she and her friends were hurt and she died, there was of course an outpouring of grief, but there was also a lot of finger pointing going on. To me, it's never "their own fault" that something horrible happens. Some lifestyles may put people at higher risk simply because of accessibility, but that doesn't mean they're to blame. Pochoda did an amazing job of taking these separate threads and slowly, methodically twining them together. Each woman's journey seemed to circle an unseen and magnetic core, spiraling ever closer both to that center and to one another, and the inevitable collision was grand. Admittedly, I definitely saw the reveal coming early on, but it also never felt important. The killer didn't feel like the motivation for the story at all. The women did. And their stories were the journey.. the best part. I never felt short-changed because I knew who was going to be responsible. I wanted to understand how we were going to get there. I wanted to know why. What's captured so beautifully in this novel, are the emotional effects of circumstance. Trauma and loss, of course.. but also the slow death of dreams, the peek beneath the illusions crafted around us, the lies we tell ourselves and other people, and the preconceived notions we might have.. walking into any situation. The novel is gripping and I didn't want to put it down. Ivy Pochoda is an author to watch and I highly recommend you pick up her book if you like mystery, drama, or suspense. 'These Women' is easily one of the best books I've read this year. I look forward to seeing much more from her. PURCHASE LINKS: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOOGLEPLAY BOOKS | KOBO | WATERSTONES ----------- 05-17: Such a powerful, emotional book. Review to come. 05-16: I'm actually about halfway through this one as of this morning, taking a break to read more of another title today, but it's a good story. I have some theories. We'll see how they play out! 05-15: This is one of those titles I was excited about the moment I read a little of the blurb. So looking forward to starting it this weekend!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Arterbery

    I really enjoyed this book. Aside from the serial killer story line in the novel, the author shines a light on the marginalized voices of sex workers living and working in South Los Angeles. Someone has been killing women and abandoning their bodies for the police to find. Because of what they do and where they live, people largely ignore the killings, allowing the serial killer to continue his hunt for almost 20 years. Sounds horrific, but as a black woman living in America, I wasn't really sur I really enjoyed this book. Aside from the serial killer story line in the novel, the author shines a light on the marginalized voices of sex workers living and working in South Los Angeles. Someone has been killing women and abandoning their bodies for the police to find. Because of what they do and where they live, people largely ignore the killings, allowing the serial killer to continue his hunt for almost 20 years. Sounds horrific, but as a black woman living in America, I wasn't really surprised about that part...people not caring. It seems like if you aren't from the right side of the tracks and living the caucasian American dream, no one cares. The chapters in the novel are told from the perspectives of five different women living within this trodden down community. My favorite characters were Essie, the cop who eventually solves the crime I loved this because you get to hear from the voices of all sides of the story. While I did solve the mystery before finishing the novel (don't worry, I won't spoil it for you!) it was still a great read. Highly recommend if you're looking for a different spin on a who-dun-it murder mystery!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laura Peden

    Another fabulous literary thriller! If you liked Please See Us by Caitlyn Mullen you’ll probably love These Women ❤️❤️❤️

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