I’m one of those people who doubted Tara’s ability to write because she’s spent so many years not trying to be a writer. Perhaps I thought that great writers are those who have always wanted to write, or tried to write. Many doubted the quality of Tara’s crime novels because she spent her adolescence as an international model. I haven’t read any of her crime novels – mostly because of this doubt – and was therefore the perfect person to read ‘The Fictional Woman’.
Tara squashes those who don’t believe she can write. The book is well-written and Tara comes across as honest, compassionate, and very self-assured. She talks about some very sensitive topics in a respectful way. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of Tara’s life, and the book could probably be read in a different order and still make sense. In each chapter, Tara weaves in personal stories, anecdotes, and facts to argue a certain side of her that she feels she needs to reflect.
The pace, however, does slow down mid way through (around the chapter on the gender wars). For a few chapters, there are few personal stories and a lot of facts, and I felt myself losing interest. She did regain my interest for the final third of the novel, but by then, I was inundated with information and statistics. After a while, you become quite passive to the facts and statistics because there’s too many of them.
This non-fiction novel highlights Moss’ intelligence and awareness of women and their importance in society. The book becomes an insightful eye-opener for those who don’t realise how marginalised women can be in the home or in the workplace.
My Score: 8/10