Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sold...

I have had a terrible time picking a book and staying with it lately. I started reading The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell. It has received amazing reviews, but it is one that needs careful reading and one I shouldn't be reading right before bed when I fall asleep and then can't remember what I read the night before. I will be reading this one this summer...on vacation or at the pool.

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 The next book I have been slowly working on is What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. I love her writing, but this book is a little slow then her other books I have read. I am going to stay with it, so I can find out what happens to the characters.
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So, when Jack and I went to the library last week, I picked up the book Sold by Patricia McCormick. I have come across this book several times, but passed it up. Some of the chapters are a paragraph long and I think the longest chapter is a page and a half. I assumed it was written in poet type prose, but it actually reads like a short story.
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Wow. It's a short book, but packs a powerful punch. 
I read it in two days. 

From Amazon:
Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut on a mountain in Nepal. Though she is desperately poor, her life is full of simple pleasures, like playing hopscotch with her best friend from school, and having her mother brush her hair by the light of an oil lamp. But when the harsh Himalayan monsoons wash away all that remains of the family's crops, Lakshmi's stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family.

He introduces her to a glamorous stranger who tells her she will find her a job as a maid in the city. Glad to be able to help, Lakshmi journeys to India and arrives at "Happiness House" full of hope. But she soon learns the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution.

An old woman named Mumtaz rules the brothel with cruelty and cunning. She tells Lakshmi that she is trapped there until she can pay off her family's debt-then cheats Lakshmi of her meager earnings so that she can never leave.

Lakshmi's life becomes a nightmare from which she cannot escape. Still, she lives by her mother's words-Simply to endure is to triumph-and gradually, she forms friendships with the other girls that enable her to survive in this terrifying new world. Then the day comes when she must make a decision-will she risk everything for a chance to reclaim her life?

Writing how these hopeful young girls are sold into prostitution was heartbreaking but also eye opening on how the business works, cons and survives.  Lakshmi wants nothing more to leave her home, work as a maid and bring money back to her mother so she can have a tin roof instead of a leaking thatch roof. So, when her gambling stepfather runs out of money to repay debts, he sells her, without her understanding, into prostitution in India. There are tender moments where Lakshmi befriends other girls in the house and a few boys form the city. Moments that she shares with these others will further open your eyes how these young people are true survivors of this ugly business. It is a young adult novel and the scenes are written discreetly, but the emotional pain is raw and difficult at times. I would recommend this book to older teens and adults.



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