2022 ABIA Longlisted- One Hundred Days by Alice Pung – Our Review
At sixteen, Karuna, an only child is constantly observed and managed by her obsessively over-protective mother.
After a momentary sexual encounter, Karuna cannot deny the truth of her pregnancy any longer and as her mother uncovers the reality, their already tense, smothering and uncomfortable relationship implodes.
As the baby grows and soon arrives, Karuna is locked inside the fourteen story housing commission tower for the next 100 days to protect her from the looming outside world.
Alone, isolated and afraid. It is in these moments that Karuna comes into her own, long days lead to beautiful moments of connection with her new daughter away from the interference of Grand Mar.
Rising with strength, Karuna fights to be recognised as the baby’s mother and battles constant emotional manipulation and control in a complex and intricate web of cultural beliefs, and unattainable motherly expectations.
The author has so brilliantly articulated the nuances of emotional abuse and control, in this book which is written slowly and secretly by Karuna to her daughter. It is deeply personal, will challenge your beliefs and push and tug on all your emotions as you devour the pages.
Messy, stirring and so so good.
Review by Lydia @ Great Escape Books