NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

 "Retain the innocence of the most wholesome feeling you ever had in your life."

Romy Leslie Hall, inmate W314159, is on her way to Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility, deep in California’s Central Valley. She has a past life lived in San Francisco, a present life in prison, and no future. She's meant to serve 2 consecutive life sentences plus 6 years. She left her son, Jackson behind with her mom. She doesn't plan on anything. Prison life is a world apart and the other inmates, guards and staff have their own agendas. There's nothing at all for Romy to do but continue to exist -- whether she wants to or not.

This was quite the book. I'm sure some of the details about prison life are true enough and I imagine there are places both better and worse than Stanville depending on where one is remanded. Identity is stripped, there is no meaningful work, and nothing to look forward to when you have no chance of parole. You know you will die in prison. Romy has no one on the outside to communicate with and no one inside who can be trusted. It's lonely and it's hell. But the uncaring guards say, "You made your choice." In many ways, this novel was very depressing and left a lot more questions than it provided answers. It would definitely make a good selection for a book club as there is much to discuss about crime and imprisonment.

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the e-book ARC to read and review.

No comments:

Post a Comment