Anna: Hunger was my memoir of the month, and I’m so glad I chose this one. I loved Gay’s writing style and can’t wait to read more by her! I also listened to the audiobook which is narrated by Roxanne Gay herself, and this made it a really emotional read.
Hunger is an intense account of Gay’s complicated relationship with her body interlaced with critique on the ways that society and the media view obesity. This is a raw account of some of the most personal parts of Gay’s life, and it was often difficult to read. It will make you angry and force you to think about how you might view people who are different than you. Trigger warnings for sexual assault and abuse.
What Roxanne Gay book should I read next?
Alexis: Read 2/4/19
“There was a hunger in her, and girls were not supposed to be hungry. They were supposed to nibble sparingly when at table, and their minds were supposed to be satisfied with a slim diet too.”
The Lie Tree is both about revenge and finding yourself. It manages to be a murder mystery book while exploring themes of science vs. religion, paleontology, family, and, of course, lies.
The book follows Faith, the 14-year-old daughter of a reverend/scientist, who moves to an island with her family. Throughout the story, she struggles with being a complacent girl in 19th century England while battling her desire to be seen and heard as a person with a brain and scientific ambitions. This was my favorite part of the book. I loved reading about Faith’s navigation through 19th century society and ideals. I felt and understood her frustrations as she dealt with being called useless. I also appreciated that Hardinge explored how her petticoats and corset always got in the way; it just felt very real to me. And, as the book progressed, I loved reading about her showing off her cleverness and proving to her mother, and the men in the book, what she can do.
Faith’s character was a little hard for me to like. I rooted for her to win, even through her ill-fated motives and her willingness to lie. I thought that the unlikability of the characters served the dark nature of the story and the Lie Tree well. However, at times, I found the story hard to get through because of this, and also because the plot was a little slow. Despite this, Hardinge is still a poetic writer and I enjoyed her descriptions and the murder mystery storyline.
VERDICT: 3 ½ out of 5 books