Alexandra's Books

One Hundred Days by Alice Pung

August 11, 2021

One Hundred Days

This book arrived on my doorstep as the first choice in my Bookety Book Books subscription, and at first I was a little skeptical. I had absolute faith in the choice of book based on the preferences I had sent, but was feeling worried about whether I would enjoy the content - especially since I was already reading a book about teen pregnancy. I had never heard of Alice Pung before but one of the reasons I wanted to join this subscription service was to discover more and more books by authors that I could come to really love.

As it turns out, I could not have been more pleasantly surprised!

Let’s start at the very beginning: Karuna, 16 years old, has discovered that she is pregnant. In an effort to keep her daugher safe, Karuna’s mother (Grand Mar) decides to lock her daughter inside their housing comission flat in Melbourne. These two share the closest of spaces, sleeping in the same double bed, but they grow further and further apart as the story progresses.

Karuna and Grand Mar’s identity and culture played a hugely significant role this story. While many of the differences between them were generational, Karuna’s westernised views on parenting and trust in medicine, compared to Grand Mar’s very traditional and superstitious approach, was one of the most striking parts of the story.

I read most of One Hundred Days with an uncomforable feeling of overwhelming claustrophobia, empathy, anger, terror, and confinement. It really felt like I was feeling all of the things Karuna is experiencing while locked up by her mother in their housing comission flat. The lines blur so easily between love and controlling emotional abuse, and I was absolutely gripped by the suffocating relationship between Karuna and her mother.


Written by Alexandra

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