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An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

An Untamed State (2014)

by Roxane Gay

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6074216,073 (3.91)38
  1. 00
    The Devil's Feather by Minette Walters (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: The Devil's Feather is a more suspenseful and less nuanced novel than An Untamed State, but both books feature disturbing, psychologically intimate, and emotionally powerful stories of women recovering from being kidnapped and sexually assaulted in foreign countries.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
Started off good but Michael is an annoying ass from beginning to end and his kidnapped wife became annoying pretty quickly. ( )
  Jinjer.Hundley | Mar 24, 2018 |
This was a very hard book to read at times given the extremely serious topics of kidnapping, rape and torture. The author does an excellent job moving back and forth from the past to the present. It helps to develop the mindset, values and overall personalities of the characters which then leads to how each will deal with the horrible incident.

Reading how the victim withdrew inside herself in order to persevere through the ordeal was raw and real. I kept wondering if this woman would ever have been able to heal from such a horrible series of experiences.

Difficult to read but well worth it. ( )
  tinkerbellkk | Mar 24, 2017 |
The reviews and cover blurbs led me to expect a serious literary tale of kidnapping and the class divisions between the wealthy and poor in Haiti. But what I got instead was a Lifetime movie of the week. (There's certainly nothing wrong with Lifetime movies if you know that's what to expect).

Chapters alternated between the present day kidnapping and flashbacks to the past, mostly telling the tale of when Mireille and her husband met and married. The scenes with the kidnappers were brutal and graphic, and totally incongruent with the chapters that dealt with the romance backstory. The dialogue and actions between Mireille and her boyfriend/husband were extremely cringe-worthy and juvenile in tone, not what one expects from two adult professionals.

This was a case of the verbiage that was used in reviews leading to the wrong reader (me) to pick up this book.

( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
Wow! This is truly a page turner! From the first page to the last, the reader is drawn into the kidnapping and torture of Mireille Jameson, the daugher of a wealthy Haiti family. Gay does an excellent job writing the story from past to present and present to past, so that the reader can understand the main character, Mireille, her family and her marriage. Mireille is a survivor and Gay shows that very well. In addition, the complex issues of family love, wealth, marriage, are woven into each character. An excellent read and definitely a great book for discussion. ( )
  AdwoaCamaraIfe | Aug 3, 2016 |
Mirelle is a Haitian woman who now lives in the United States with her American husband. While they are on a trip to Haiti to visit her parents, Mirelle is kidnapped by a gang who hold her for ransom. Her rich father refuses to pay the ransom and though her husband tries all he can, he can't come up with the money. This a a brutal portrait of kidnappers and their victim, in this case a very brave woman who survives in spite of abominable treatment. It is not easy to read because of the cruelty involed, but worth the effort. ( )
  gbelik | Jul 4, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
A harrowing and emotionally cleareyed vision of one woman’s ordeal during and after her kidnapping in Haiti.
added by sturlington | editKirkus Reviews (Mar 13, 2014)
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Once upon a time, in a far-off land, I was kidnapped by a gang of fearless yet terrified young men with so much impossible hope beating inside their bodies it burned their very skin and strengthened their will right through their bones.
“I am going to come clean with you, Mireille. You will get better but you will never be okay, not in the way you once were. There is no being okay after what you’ve been through.”
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802122515, Paperback)

“Once you start this book, you will not be able to put it down. An Untamed State is a novel of hope intermingled with fear, a book about possibilities mixed with horror and despair. It is written at a pace that will match your racing heart, and while you find yourself shocked, amazed, devastated, you also dare to hope for the best, for all involved.”—Edwidge Danticat, author of Breath, Eyes, Memory and The Dew Breaker

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.

“From the astonishing first line to the final scene, An Untamed State is magical and dangerous. I could not put it down. Pay attention to Roxane Gay; she's here to stay.”—Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow and Leaving Atlanta

“[Haiti’s] better scribes, among them Edwidge Danticat, Franketienne, Madison Smartt Bell, Lyonel Trouillot, and Marie Vieux Chavet, have produced some of the best literature in the world. . . . Add to their ranks Roxane Gay, a bright and shining star.”—Kyle Minor, author of In the Devil’s Territory, on Ayiti

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:28 -0400)

Mireille Duval Jameson is a rich and self-assured Haitian woman who is kidnapped by a gang of heavily armed men. Held captive by a man who calls himself the Commander, Mireille must endure his torment until her unwilling father pays up.

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