An Untamed State
By Roxane Gay
What’s it about?
This novel is about a young, wealthy Haitian-American woman who is kidnapped on a family visit to Haiti. The violence is brutal, but once you start reading this book you will do nothing else until you have read the last page.
What did it make me think about?
It made me think of extreme wealth and extreme poverty living side by side. How they coexist, but not easily. Also, it made me NOT want to visit Haiti.
Should I read it?
Roxane Gay writes in such a clear, direct way. I am sure we will be reading her work for years to come. My suggestion- don’t start this book unless you can put everything aside to read.
“When my mother and I had conversations about kidnapping in the before, I got angry. I told her there were people who needed her. I told her if she were kidnapped, she would have no choice but to survive. I told her nothing truly bad happens when someone is kidnapped, that kidnapping is only a matter of time and money and that she would always have both. This was when it was easy to speak wrongly on such things. In the after, I understood my mother’s fears more clearly. She knew my father too well.”