Esil's Reviews > The Mars Room

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
3643764
's review

it was amazing

The Mars Room pushed all the right buttons for me. I liked Kushner’s The Flamethrowers, but this was something else altogether. Here Kushner uses her talent to extraordinarily potent effect. The story is set in the early 2000s, focused primarily on Romy Hall, who is in a women’s prison for life for murder. Kushner does a great job of showing the reality of Romy’s life — where she came from, how she got to prison, and her life in prison. There is no sugar coating. Romy’s life is harsh and she is hard edged. At the same time, Kushner does a great job showing how smart, resourceful and resilient Romy is. But life has offered very few choices and plenty of traps to Romy. Somehow, I found the end heartbreaking but brilliant. Besides Romy, The Mars Room features a few other characters connected to Romy or life in prison.

Ultimately, Kushner’s book suggests that the path that gets women into prison is often laden with poverty, addiction and abuse. But her message is delivered without polemic or simplistic solutions.

By a strange coincidence, today I tuned into Writers and Company which featured an interview with Kushner: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/writersandcom.... She describes the research she did about women in prison before writing The Mars Room. If anything, the interview added to my enthusiasm for the book. A lot of thought, empathy and research went into this one.

Highly recommended!

Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
96 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Mars Room.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

January 29, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read (Kindle Edition)
January 29, 2018 – Shelved (Kindle Edition)
January 29, 2018 – Shelved as: netgalley (Kindle Edition)
May 26, 2018 – Started Reading
May 26, 2018 – Shelved
May 27, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-27 of 27 (27 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Angela M Fantastic review , Esil. Tough to read I thought but definitely worth reading.


message 2: by Bianca (new)

Bianca Excellent review. I'll check out the link, but I'll pass on the book.


Debbie Oh this sounds fantastic!! This goes on my Esil rec shelf!! Terrific review my friend!!


message 4: by Julie (new)

Julie I may have to add this one!! Terrific review, Esil!!


message 5: by Esil (new) - added it

Esil Angela M wrote: "Fantastic review , Esil. Tough to read I thought but definitely worth reading."

Thanks Angela. This was definitely a powerful read!


message 6: by Esil (new) - added it

Esil Bianca wrote: "Excellent review. I'll check out the link, but I'll pass on the book."

Thanks Bianca. It’s a tough read but she treats the subject so well.


message 7: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Ansbro Another fab review, Esil.


message 8: by Esil (new) - added it

Esil Debbie wrote: "Oh this sounds fantastic!! This goes on my Esil rec shelf!! Terrific review my friend!!"

Thanks Debbie. I sure hope you like it. The writing and the characters are fantastic, but be ready for a lot of heartbreak.


message 9: by Esil (new) - added it

Esil Julie wrote: "I may have to add this one!! Terrific review, Esil!!"

Thanks Julie. It’s definitely worth reading!


message 10: by Esil (new) - added it

Esil Kevin wrote: "Another fab review, Esil."

Thanks Kevin. This one is definitely worth reading.


message 11: by Fran (new)

Fran Awesome review, Esil!


message 12: by Esil (new) - added it

Esil Fran wrote: "Awesome review, Esil!"

Thanks Fran!


message 13: by Sharon (new) - added it

Sharon Metcalf Thanks for another great review and for sharing the link Esil. Haven't trued this author before so I might try to request this one...it sounds interesting.


message 14: by Larry (new)

Larry H Wow, Esil, what a great review! So glad you really enjoyed this one. I tried reading it a few months ago and couldn't get anywhere with it, so now I know what I missed!


message 15: by Barbara (new)

Barbara fabulous review Esil! I'll put a hold on it!


message 16: by Esil (new) - added it

Esil Sharon wrote: "Thanks for another great review and for sharing the link Esil. Haven't trued this author before so I might try to request this one...it sounds interesting."
Thanks Sharon. This one is definitely worth a try.


message 17: by Esil (new) - added it

Esil Larry wrote: "Wow, Esil, what a great review! So glad you really enjoyed this one. I tried reading it a few months ago and couldn't get anywhere with it, so now I know what I missed!"

Thanks Larry. I wasn't sure about this one when I started, but Romy's character and situation really grew on me.


message 18: by Esil (new) - added it

Esil Barbara wrote: "fabulous review Esil! I'll put a hold on it!"

Thanks Barbara. Looking forward to your thoughts on this one.


Hannah Wonderful review, Esil!


Trish love that interview. Thanks for the link!


message 21: by Esil (new) - added it

Esil Hannah wrote: "Wonderful review, Esil!"

Thanks Hannah!


message 22: by Esil (new) - added it

Esil Trish wrote: "love that interview. Thanks for the link!"

Glad you enjoyed it Trish. It made me realize how much thought went into the book and characters.


Elyse  Walters Terrific review -- The Audiobook was amazing!!


message 24: by Esil (new) - added it

Esil Elyse wrote: "Terrific review -- The Audiobook was amazing!!"

Thanks Elyse. I’m not surprised to hear this worked well as an audiobook. Happy Friday :)


Elyse  Walters 💕


message 26: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Shepherd great review! The book title drew me in but it's your sincere enthusiasm that makes me want to read it.


message 27: by Esil (new) - added it

Esil Kevin wrote: "great review! The book title drew me in but it's your sincere enthusiasm that makes me want to read it."

Thanks Kevin. As you can see I highly recommend it!


back to top