Forced by her father to marry a man three times her age, young Nujood Ali was sent away from her parents and beloved sisters and made to live with her husband and his family in an isolated village in rural Yemen. There she suffered daily from physical and emotional abuse by her mother-in-law and nightly at the rough hands of her spouse. Flouting his oath to wait to have sexual relations with Nujood until she was no longer a child, he took her virginity on their wedding night. She was only 10 years old.
Unable to endure the pain and distress any longer, Nujood fled, not for home, but to the courthouse of the capital, paying for a taxi ride with a few precious coins of bread money. When a renowned Yemeni lawyer heard about the young victim, she took on Nujood's case and fought the archaic system in a country where almost half the girls are married while still under the legal age. Since their unprecedented victory in April 2008, Nujood's courageous defiance of both Yemeni customs and her own family has attracted a storm of international attention. Her story even incited change in Yemen and other Middle Eastern countries, where underage marriage laws are being increasingly enforced and other child brides have been granted divorces.
Recently honored alongside Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice as one of Glamour magazine's women of the year, Nujood now tells her full story for the first time. As she guides us from the magical, fragrant streets of the Old City of Sanaa to the cement-block slums and rural villages of this ancient land, her unflinching look at an injustice suffered by all too many girls around the world is at once shocking, inspiring, and utterly unforgettable.
©2010 Nujood Ali (P)2010 Random House
This book was a selection at my book club. I found the story very disturbing, as I imagine anyone would. It was very interesting to learn a little bit about life in Yemen incluidng the culture and practices. The history of marriage at such a young age was hard to learn of. I hope that Nujood will be able to acheive her dreams, but she has had a very difficult start.
While I recognize that the narrator was telling the first-person story of a young girl, I sometimes found her stacato narration a bit affected and an impediment to my being able to relax into the story. Because I have not had a chance to also read the book, I can't tell whether or not the writing style contributed to this as well -- but I suspect it may have.
I love the inspiration I felt after reading her story.
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I wanted to share it right away with my friends.
I enjoy memoirs.
Simply written and read of such a difficult story
A Divorce party very cool
showing all the voices in a great role
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