The novel begins with desperation, the kind that protagonist Lorraine Cutler understands as she meets women throughout the United States who have faced agonizing moments. A journalist dealing with her own despair, Lorraine is compelled to enter a fight that she didn't volunteer to join.
Set in 1999 and the new 21st century, The Third Woman confronts the historical and contemporary indifference to the treatment of girls and women. From a rural Texas town to the lofty pines of the Maine woods; from the Manhattan skyline to the northwest cityscape of Seattle-Lorraine intersects with women who must respond to and survive the physical, emotional, and psychological wounds that scar their souls. As she connects with women across ethnic, age, and class lines, she realizes that a simple truth bears a profound meaning: "Life is about what you do!"