How does it feel to wake up and find yourself captive in a small concrete room without the knowledge of why you are there or how you got there in the first place? How would you deal with this terrifying ordeal? What emotions consume an individual who is consumed by terror? As night turns into day, and day turns into night, your existence can go into replay mode, making nothing seem normal, and nothing make sense. That is what it feels like when you're being held captive.
Claudine Dumont captures this frightening situation with such accuracy and incredible depth. It feels like you are reading a book in 3D (if there ever is such a thing). Her writing is suffocating (you feel the suffocation that Emma feels in the enclosed room, you start drowning in the fear and suspense, and like watching a train wreck, you just can’t walk away). She starts to experience real emotion seemingly for the first time in a long time.
At first, there is a certain repetitiveness to the writing (intentional, of course), similar to a feeling of being confined in the same quarters day after day after day, doing the same thing over and over and over again, hoping things will be different. But, they don’t. Not for a long while anyway. Without an explanation at bay, what would you do? How would you survive?
It’s harrowing to be in Claudine Dumont’s head. But from a purely writing perspective she hits it right on the nail. The conclusion though is one that could be interpreted differently. While some may love the outcome, for others it may be a bit of a letdown. I invite readers to share their experiences on this blog post after reading the book. But like all novels, Captive is one that’s open to interpretation.