Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Ten Women, by Marcela Serrano (author), Beth Fowler (translator) Marisol Ramirez (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, February 2014 (original publication October 2004)

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.