Audie Award Finalist, Package Design, 2014
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?
Written in spare and evocative vignettes, this powerful novel renders a world that is as unimaginable as it is real, and a girl who not only survives but triumphs.
©2006 Patricia McCormick (P)2012 Tantor
"Hard-hitting...poignant. The author beautifully balances the harshness of brothel life with the poignant relationships among its residents." (Publishers Weekly Starred Review)
... But its basically exactly what you would expect from the story with no risks taken or captivating language or style.
Not to say I wanted anything exciting or unusual to happen, but it was basically a plain and generic telling of what happens to one of these poor and unfortunate girls.
That said, it was worth the listen.
Say something about yourself!
This is a sad but triumphant story about a sad state of affairs all over the world. Little children from desperately poor families selling their daughters and sons into slavery. Maybe they were deceived, maybe they knew full well what was going to happen to their offspring. The end was hopeful but I would have liked a few paragraphs on what happened.
The author was kindly vague about the sex, but sex is the purpose of this practice so it had to be there.
Credit worthy, though the price was perfect.
This is a story about young girls, barely out of puberty who are thrust into a world of sexual and physical abuse by both their handlers and customers. Their parents, desperate for money and often with hopes they are sending their children off into the world often do not know they have been duped and their children are headed into an unspeakable existence. People do evil things in the world all in pursuit of lining their pockets. It's a sad state of affairs where young children are sold into prostitution. I want to shame all of those people out there who have no qualms about supporting the industry of child prostitution.
Probably not. It wasn't a bad book but the story didn't build to an interesting climax. I get that it's an exposition of child prostitution but it ended too abruptly and was too short. Very good description and plays to all 5 senses.
She has an Indian accent so gave life to the little girl telling the story.
No, it would be too disturbing I think.
This is a short (only 3 1/2 hours) powerful story of a frighteningly real horror going on today in Nepal and India. Young girls in the mountains of Nepal are sold by their gullible, desperate parents into what they are told are good jobs as maids in good households in India. What they are really sold into is sexual slavery. They may be sold and resold as they are taken farther and farther into India until they reach a brothel where they are held in captivity and simply used until they sicken and either die or are simply turned out. This story is actually written for young adults, and while it is harsh in its telling of the truth, it's also a story of courage and resiliency and coming of age in a way American children can mostly not imagine.
Ms. Eyre narrates it beautifully, with exactly the right pacing.
I was spellbound, but it was not easy to listen to.
Her realization that she had been sold into a brothel and her sense of hopelessness.
This story is a scary reality and the injustice of it all left me feeling unsettled and angry. I also feel fortunate to be a woman born in the western world allowed freedoms that many woman in other parts of the world do not possess.
If a book has the ability to make a person look deep into their soul, and question if they are doing enough for their brothers and sisters in this world, this book certainly has that potential. For the past two days, I have been mesmerized by the story of this young girl, and what a horrible turn it took at the age of 12. To think that the children of Nepal are being sold and trafficked as human sex slaves in the year 2013 brings me to tears.
This book is just beautiful, the situations described in this book are so authentic, and will grip your heart with each turn of the page. At the end of the book, I found myself holding my breath, scared to breath,as this beautiful young girl finds her voice.
This is a must read for all women.
road show junkie
The story, the words, are far more profound coming through in the voice of the young girl sold into trafficking. Her hopeful start, her selfless thought in leaving her family behind to make things better for them. the horror at the realization of what has happened, the desperation at the hopelessness - and the glimmer of hope at the end. There needs to be a 2nd installment of this gripping story.
Left To Tell by Immaculee Ilibaagiza - a story of the Rwanda Genocide told by the survivor herself.
The idyllic childhood scenes in her little village. The love that passed between her mother & grandmother and the child they obviously adored. It made the situation her step gather sold her into even more frightening.
A book club selection, again not one I might have picked up on my own - but I have been made a better person with wider opened eyes
This book started out a bit slow but it was interesting to learn about another culture. This book was valuable as it brings awareness to the horrors of human trafficking. It is hard to comprehend that this actually goes on in the world. I would have liked to know more of the story, what happens to the heroine after the end of the book, the continuation of her journey.
Super picky but in love with reading!!! I simply love good storytelling!
Short but oh so very sweet! I reccommend this book too anyone! I am super picky in picking books and alot of the books I end up buying I don't finish, but this one was not like that at all! It grabbed my attention from begginning to end! Simply superb!
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