Review: An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

Genre: General Fiction, Contemporary Fiction


This is a story of Mireille Duval Jameson, a daughter of a very wealthy and powerful man of Haiti. She has a very happy and successful life with her American husband and son as they live a life of relative luxury in Miami. When Mireille and her husband are on their annual vacation to visit with her parents in Haiti, she is kidnapped and held for ransom for 13 horrifying days. The things she must endure and survive through while under the control of a dangerous psychopath will change who she is forever. This book holds no punches with the descriptions and realities of her brutal and violent 13 days…as well as the months (and years) of healing that must take place afterward.

“Once upon a time, my life was a fairy tale and then I was stolen from everything I’ve ever loved. There was no happily ever after. After days of dying, I was dead.”

This was a beautifully written story about so much more than just a kidnapping. It’s more than just a story about the class divide in Haiti. It’s a story about endurance, strength, and the power we all have to heal. There is a very strong message of the inner strength of the human spirit and it’s ability to heal and survive. I absolutely loved the relationship Mireille had with her mother in law, Lorraine. The fact that their need for each other went full circle throughout this journey was such a beautiful addition.

This was definitely a tough read a time and it likely needs a trigger warning for some readers. There are more than a few very descriptive scenes of brutal rapes, assaults and torture. None of this story is easy to read and at times, I needed to take emotional breaks.
If you can handle heavy and disturbing subject matter to get to a beautiful story about the strength and resilience of a woman’s need to survive, this is an excellent book that was beautifully written.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

An Untamed State – Amazon


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