One Hundred Days
by Alice Pung
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Pub Date 17 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 12 Dec 2023
“A powerhouse story, a powerhouse voice, that wrestles with intragenerational fractures and complicated entanglements. At the center of the book is an obsessive kind of love, a love that gives but also takes, but a love that only forms from bonds forged in fire.”—Weike Wang, award-winning author of Joan Is Okay and Chemistry
From one of Australia’s most celebrated authors comes a powerful mother-daughter drama that explores the fault lines between love and control—My Year of Rest and Relaxation meets Freshwater.
Sixteen and pregnant, Karuna finds herself trapped in her mother’s Melbourne public housing apartment for one hundred days, awaiting the birth of her child—and her mother’s next move in a shocking power struggle over who will raise the baby. She writes to her unborn child, so there’s a record of what really happened.
Karuna’s pregnancy is the result of a heady whirlwind of independence, lust, and defiance—but it wasn’t entirely by accident, either. Karuna’s mother, already overprotective, confines her to keep her safe from the outside world—and make sure she can’t get into any more trouble. Stuck inside for endless hours, Karuna battles her mother and herself for a sense of power in her own life, as a new life forms and grows within her. As the due date nears, the question of who will get to raise the baby festers between them.
At times tense and unnerving, One Hundred Days nevertheless brims with humor and warmth. Alice Pung’s authorial voice is crisp and relatable, channeling the angst of youth with grace.