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.
These Women is an extraordinary piece of literary fiction, pure character study set against the backdrop of darkly alluring city streets where a serial killer lurks in the shadows…
Despite the killer angle this is not really a crime novel…the crimes are simply an element of the whole, a kind of horrific central anchor that allows these women to speak to the reader in their own way and in their own time.
Linked together by circumstance and event but all living a different reality, each separate protagonist has her own unique voice – every one intriguing, morally different, emotionally resonant. You are drawn into their world before you fully grasp the fact that you are hooked, by the end you emerge blinking into the light.
This is intelligent, insightful and melancholy. Also utterly beautifully heartbreaking.