An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay is a powerful new literary voice whose short stories and essays have already earned her an enthusiastic audience. In An Untamed State, she delivers an assured debut about a woman kidnapped for ransom, her captivity as her father refuses to pay and her husband fights for her release over thirteen days, and her struggle to come to terms with the ordeal in its aftermath.

Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale. The strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men, in front of her father’s Port au Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself The Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom. As it becomes clear her father intends to resist the kidnappers, Mireille must endure the torments of a man who resents everything she represents.

An Untamed State is a novel of privilege in the face of crushing poverty, and of the lawless anger that corrupt governments produce. It is the story of a willful woman attempting to find her way back to the person she once was, and of how redemption is found in the most unexpected of places. An Untamed State establishes Roxane Gay as a writer of prodigious, arresting talent.-Goodreads

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  • Katherine

    I wasn't able to make the meeting but I did read the book. I thought the story live was brutal and I don't know that as I writer, I, myself would have been this graphic but I thought the writer did an excellent job with the story in the way she portrayed a different perspective. I thought ransoms got paid. Umh, something to think about. I loved the main character: her strength and the method she used to survive. Personally, I would have hoped the bad guy had gotten it worse in the end.

    2 · August 26

    • Michelle

      I agree!! I wanted some payback for the bad guy, but I guess the bad guy realizing that he was no better off in the US was some kind of payback in itself (not nearly enough ofcourse)

      August 26

  • Kerri C.

    Good discussion at Bella Sera's for those who came! (Michelle & Kim) :)
    I usually don't stay up till 2 in the morning reading a book. Could not put down this compelling and heart wrenching novel! So beautiful & tragic. count on tears!

    1 · August 22

  • Noni

    I am so sorry I missed it! I think I have been trapped in my home too long with children. I am not used to escaping for a few hours to see real, live adults. I hope to catch the next event near the Cove area.

    2 · August 22

  • Michelle

    It was a good easy read

    August 22

  • Kim R.

    Were at the table in the back :-)
    I reserved a table

    August 21

  • Michelle

    Half way through the book. Very interesting!

    1 · August 4

  • Diana P.

    I just realized I'll be out of town on this day. :( catch you all next month!

    2 · August 2

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