Three Women by Lisa Taddeo Read Online (FREE)
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Looking from outside into an open window one never sees as much as when one looks through a closed window. There is nothing more profound, more mysterious, more pregnant, more insidious, more dazzling than a window lighted by a single candle. What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what goes on behind a windowpane. In that black or luminous square life lives, life dreams, life suffers.
— CHARLES BAUDELAIRE
This is a work of nonfiction. Over the course of eight years I have spent thousands of hours with the women in this book—in person, on the phone, by text message and email. In two cases, I moved to the towns where they lived and settled in as a resident so I could better understand their day-to-day lives. I was there to experience many of the moments I’ve included. For the events that happened in the past or at times when I wasn’t present, I’ve relied on the women’s memories, their diaries, and their communications. I have conducted interviews with friends and family members and followed their social media. But for the most part I stayed with the point of view of the three women.
I used court documents and local news articles and spoke to reporters, judges, attorneys, investigators, colleagues, and acquaintances to confirm events and timelines. Almost all quotes come from legal documents, emails, letters, recordings, and interviews with the women and other individuals in the book. The important exception is the one case in which the text messages, physical letters, and some emails were unavailable. In this instance, the content provided is based on multiple retellings from the subject, which have been disputed by her correspondent.
I based my selection of these three women on the relatability of their stories, their intensity, and the way that the events, if they happened in the past, still sat on the women’s chests. I was restricted to speaking to women who were open to telling me their stories, on the record and without holding back. Several subjects decided, halfway through my research, that they were too fearful of being exposed. But largely, I based my selection on what I perceived as these women’s ability to be honest with themselves and on their willingness to communicate their stories in ways that laid bare their desire. Others lack a distinct voice in this text because these stories belong to these women. I have, however, elected to protect those whose voices are not featured by changing almost all the names, exact locations, and identifying details in the two accounts that have not already been the subject of public record. In that third account, I have changed the names of the individuals who did not play a public role or who were minors during the period of time in question.