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These Women Reviews

These Women by Ivy Pochoda

These Women

Ivy Pochoda

3.82 out of 5

5 reviews

Imprint: Faber & Faber
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication date: 5 Nov 2020
ISBN: 9780571363827

The wife. These women live by countless unspoken rules. Maybe it is only these rules which keep them alive. When their neighbourhood is rocked by two murders, the careful existence these women have built for themselves begins to crumble. 'Absolutely superb, a painful, atmospheric novel about women living on the margins in LA.

4 stars out of 5
Laura Wilson
20 Nov 2020

"an immersive and immensely powerful novel"

n 2014, in a sleazy part of South Central LA, sex workers are being murdered, and pint-sized Latina cop Essie Perry believes that the deaths are the work of an unknown serial killer who murdered 13 women in 1999 ... The perpetrator’s identity isn’t much of a revelation, but that isn’t the point: this is an immersive and immensely powerful novel, challenging and angry, about what happens when women’s voices go unheard.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
Geoffrey Wansell
12 Nov 2020

"Written with a vivid intensity"

Loosely inspired by a lesser-known LA murderer — known as the Grim Sleeper — it describes the lives of the sex workers who make up the majority of his victims. Written with a vivid intensity about making a living on the streets or in the bars that offer ‘other services’ to their male clients, it is uncomfortable reading, but deeply moving.

Jumping between 1999 and 2014, Pochoda evokes the lives of a victim, a mother who lost her daughter to the killer, a female cop and a young woman trying to escape the dark alleyways of LA. Each is portrayed with wrenching emotional empathy, drawing the reader into their uncomfortable worlds and creating a web of fear, grief and loss that is absolutely heartbreaking.

4 stars out of 5
Alison Flood
2 Nov 2020

"These Women is intense, brutal and glittering, a call to listen to the voices of the ignored"

These Women is intense, brutal and glittering, a call to listen to the voices of the ignored: “The mothers. The mothers are chanting. The mothers are heckling the police. The mothers are calling for justice. The mothers are holding photos of their daughters.”

3 stars out of 5
1 Nov 2020

"Athlete-turned-author Ivy Pochoda's new novel is a serial killer tale with shades of Raymond Chandler"

Pochoda’s novel is roiling with female voices – angry, grieving, usually swearing. And while there’s a vividness to the prose, it can border on trite (there are one too many descriptions of women dolled up in their “armour”). Still, when the denouement comes it’s truly menacing, and Pochoda’s descriptions of a muddy, neon-soaked LA where it’s always night are as gritty and aggressive as Raymond Chandler’s. The difference being that Pochoda’s women, surveying the vastness of the city, know that “it’s ours, baby”.

4 stars out of 5
Joan Smith
1 Nov 2020

"These Women is a stunning achievement that challenges conventional narratives about serial killers"

In an atmosphere of rising menace, she shows the impact of the unsolved murders on grieving mothers and a new generation of young women who live on the margins. It’s a tough read, written in the language of the streets, but These Women is a stunning achievement that challenges conventional narratives about serial killers.