Apr 23, 2012

Sold - Patricia McCormick Book Review

Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut in a mountain village in Nepal. Her life is made up of simple pleasures like going to school and spending time with her loving ama and baby brother. But these happy times are undercut by the desperate poverty that threatens the lives of the villagers.
Then one day, Lakshmi's father brings her to a shopkeeper in town and tells Lakshmi that she is going to go work as a maid in India so that her wages can be sent home. Glad to help support her family, Lakshmi undertakes the long journey and arrives at "Happiness House" full of hope. But she soon discovers the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution.
An old woman named Mumtaz rules the house with an iron fist. She informs Lakshmi that she is trapped there until she can pay off her family's debt. And of course, crooked Mumtaz will make sure that that never happens.
Lakshmi life becomes a nightmare from which she cannot escape. But gradually, she forms friendships that enable her to survive in this terrifying new world. Until the day comes that she has to make a decision -- one that will cause her to risk everything to for a chance to reclaim her life.
Written in spare and evocative vignettes, this powerful novel chronicles the story of one girl's struggle to maintain her sense of self against all odds. (From Barnes&Noble.com)

This is a good book but it was also a hard book. It's about a Nepali girl of 13 that was sold into sexual slavery in India. This particular account is fictional but it is based on some horrifying facts. I have read about some of these things but it is so hard to reread it like this. You see these girls desperation to ignore and not accept what is happening to them, passing it off as a nightmare. It's heartbreaking.
This book though is not written like typical works of fiction. It is written more like journal entries, only without dates. Which helps you, as the reader, to understand how confusing and tiring these girls lives are, how they block it all out. They convince themselves that they are helping their families. It's so sad. I cried a few times while reading this book. It's hard to think that girls my age and younger go through such horrible things on a daily basis. And what am I doing? It all makes me sick.
This book was an easy read as far as books go, but it was a really hard read for me. It took me several days just to collect myself enough to pick it up again. 
It doesn't matter how strong or brave you are, this book will humble you. And in some ways the girls that go through this are stronger than all of us. Just something to chew on.

Title: Sold
Author: Patricia McCormick 
Type of Book: Fiction
263 Pages

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