An Untamed State by Roxanne Gay
Method Read: Paperback
This book is Terrifying, with a capital T. Mireille is the Haitian-born wife of a Midwestern boy. The two live an idyllic life, right down to their perfect child. When the two visit Mireille’s parents in Port Au Prince, all is well, if a bit of an unsettling dichotomy, until Mireille is kidnapped.The story of Mireille’s days with the kidnappers is brutal and difficult to read. However, what is more heartbreaking than hearing about Mireille’s captivity is reading her story back from it. There is so much that she experiences that she is afraid to share. There is so much that others went through that they feel she cannot handle.
All of the unspoken words build until they reach a terrible climax. You can feel her finally letting herself shatter after being strong while kidnapped. The journey back is a hard but universal one. A story of what separates us even from those we love.
Despite the relatable qualities of An Untamed State, it is not an easy read. It is awful and hard, but oh so rewarding in the end. It forced me to reconsider the privileges we have as Americans — the privilege to walk outside our front doors (mostly) without the fear of being kidnapped and held for ransom.
I heartily recommend this book and think it would be an excellent choice for a book club!