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)
Listening to the story. I became "transported" into the mind of this young girl and glimpsed the horrors of a dark societal business. This book is a big idea presented in a powerful and simple way. The narrator's accent made it seem as if the girl was talking to me, telling me her story. Without what I call " soap " drama I felt very emotional ...sympathetic and empathetic. I found myself listening to the whole story in about two days!
Important and difficult topics presented in simple powerful ways
Number the Stars, Fever, My Name is Not Angelica
There is only one voice...first person
I don't think it would be a good film, I think it is a superb listen.
I have recommended this to several friends. I would like to read other opinions.
Runner, athlete, financeprofessor, but mainly known for BonaResponds (volunteer organization)
Very well-written. Sad. Depressing. Motivating. More must be done to stop such an awful practice.
I thought the book was about the girls that have been taken by the Muslim extremists but this is even a more repelling topic. It is about the sexual slavery of children.
“Sold” covers life of one thirteen-year-old girl, Lakshmi, who is sold by her step-father and taken from her home in the Himalayas under the guise that she is going to work for a wealthy family in the “city”. Though fiction, Patricia McCormick's, research paints a very graphic, realistic and believable picture of the young worked girls in Calcutta's brothels; Lakshmi’s struggles against her captors; her shattered dreams; her fears of the outside world; and her bravery to become rescued.
Lakshmi's stepfather sums up the value of a girl’s life when he says, "A son will always be a son, they say. But a girl is like a goat. Good as long as she gives you milk and butter. But not worth crying over when it's time to make a stew."
I can’t say that I liked “Sold”. It is a very dark book but is a short and fast read. It is an important book but based on a subject I would rather believe did not exist.
I am a retired public school educator.
Based on the interviews and testimony of former child slave prostitutes; this story takes you behind locked doors through a young girl's eyes. Terrifying & riveting, I listened straight through without stopping!
So amazing couldn't stop listening so detailed and moving loved it so much the voice is kind of odd to listen to at first but then I ended up loving it I have a huge interest in books about the treatment of women and girls in developing countries and this is one of the best books for that topic I have ever read it's so important for people to read these books and realize what happens around the world
mom/chief bug hunter
I really enjoyed this young adult novel about a young girl in the sex trade against her wishes. However the narrator's voice sounded like an old woman, not a young girl - the American accent was irritating to me also. Wish I had read this one.
I cannot say that I enjoyed listening to the book because it is a disturbing book about a disturbing subject. It does give the listener a glimpse into a reality that is all too common in today's world -- all over the world from India to the United States and everywhere in between.
It was hard to get though, only because this is reality. 14 year Olds are worried about cell phones and boys not trying to support their families in such painful ways.
This story is well told and thus honors these girls who are braver than most.
I was hesitant to listen to such a story fearing it would be so depressing and possibly over detailed. Since this is a very real issue I decided to listen. It is sobering but not graphic. I finished it in one day.
The author starts with the girl at home, her poor but happy life in its own way. In this story you understand how a parent is lied to. You come to understand the tragedy of being a prisoner with no chains. The lies that the girls are constantly told to control them. The life they make for themselves in a living hell.
Ashamed, what I liked best was this girl is rescued. There is a happy ending. But the obvious truth, this is most often not the case. So I am glad to have listened. I am now more aware and will possibly be able to recognize and possibly be able to help somehow. Maybe even recognize this crime as it happens in America as well.
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