AN UNTAMED STATE

ROXANE GAYstate

“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,” is the opening sentence of this powerful novel. Mireille Duval Jameson, a stubborn, quick-tempered daughter of Haitian immigrants who’s a mother to a baby boy and wife to a handsome, all-American husband. One ordinary morning, on the way to the beach with her family, while visiting her wealthy parents’ home back in their native Haiti, she is kidnapped and held for ransom — an unfortunately all-too-common occurrence in country marked by staggering inequality. But despite his vast, self-made fortune, Mireille’s proud father refuses to pay her captors. Her father believes that if he pays the million dollar ransom then the rest of his family will be more at risk from fortune seakers. It is then the torture begins. Her captures spend the next thirteen days subjecting her to gruesome acts of sexual violence and torture. When she is finally release she feels completely and utterly dead inside; she has such a sever case of PTSD. The novel is quite a page turner.

THE SILENT WIFE

A. S. A. HARRISON

wifeJodi Brett is beautiful, rich and intelligent and in complete denial. A psychotherapist, she is, “deeply unaware that her life is now peaking… that a few short months are all it will take to make a killer of her”. Her partner of 20 years, Todd Gilbert, never a faithful man, has fallen for someone else and is leaving her. Jodi has always ignored Todd’s affairs. This new one is different. This time the young woman, Todd’s best friend’s daughter is pregnant. It is significant that Jodi and Todd never married. As soon as he left their common-law relationship she had no claim to anything. No rights at all. But she was still his heir in his will. That is until the wedding.

Jodi is cool, and brittle – “the brittleness that goes with endurance. The day will come, she imagines, when fine cracks appear in her skin and go about branching and splitting till she comes to resemble the crackle-glaze vase on the mantel.” “Jodi’s great gift is her silence, and he has always loved this about her… but silence is also her weapon. The woman who refuses to object, who doesn’t yell and scream – there’s strength in that, and power,” thinks Todd.

Wife is a great read. I appreciate when an author can tell a captivating tale in a consise form.