When I first stumbled upon this book while searching for something to read for this project, I dismissed it. Ten women just talking about their lives didn’t seem that fascinating. Memories came to me of having to accompany my mother when she went to have coffee with her friends and chat about things that bored the holy life out of me.
It just wasn’t the kind of book I typically read. But then I thought maybe that’s exactly why I should read it. I started this project precisely to discover literature I wouldn’t otherwise.
Ten Women ended up being a more interesting read than I expected. The women in the novel all had their unique stories and challenges, ranging from upper-class first world problems to heartbreak and tragedy. They are all different but also alike in some central themes of their lives: family, love, loss, a search for meaning. They are alike, in other words, in the way all people are alike. And this is what makes their stories and this book so very human.
They represent also the different social classes and generations of Chile. Some are young and struggling with modern problems while others have lived through more tumultuous times in the country’s history, such as the Pinochet dictatorship.
This ten women are in a sense a representation of the many faces of Chile, a microcosm of the wider Chilean society.
I’d recommend this book not only because it is well-written but also because it has something to teach. About the country’s modernity and history but also about the fact that all people, everyone of us carry within them a story waiting to be told.