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)
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
This book is just plain haunting... I got through this book in one sitting... This is undoubtedly going to be one of my favorite books. The book is sad, honest, raw and beautiful at the same time. It becomes one of those books that you do not want to finish because it is so good but find yourself incapable of actually stopping.
While going through the book you have the decision of either steeling yourself or to completely immerse yourself. The book surrounds Lakshmi, a 13 year old girl who goes through just goes through heartbreaking situations. The entire scope of the book lasts just one year but the tragic circumstances that she endured is more than one needs to endure for a lifetime. The writing was haunting in nature and taken from the vantage point as Lakshmi herself makes it even more heart-wrenching. You see as she moves from a hopeful, naive girl to a seemingly broken shell of her former self and then to a downright fighter. The book is gripping throughout and plays heavily on your morality and sense of humanity.
The narration, for me, was superb. The way that the narrator was able to bring across the entire story in such a haunting manner is impressive. She only adds to the mood of the book and leaves you utterly gripped to the novel. 5 Star Narration through and through here.
Listen mostly to urban fantasy and suspense/thrillers but also enjoy mysteries, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, adventure, classic, modern, spiritual or general literature. And I always like a bit of romance in any of my stories.
The story was obviously well researched. Although it was written as fiction it could easily be some girl's story in real life. Justine Eyre did a great job of giving the young girl voice bringing to life her story and that of the other girls with her. After listening I went and made a donation to help girls like her. (I went online but I'm sure there are other places).
Married mother of three teenagers, back to work after 15 years at home - when I read a lot. Now I am the assistant to the Mayor of Omaha and work at least 60 hours a week, and on top of what I have to do at home - no more books. This lets me listen to the classics, the latest, whatever I want. I can learn or escape. I have always love audio books, but now I NEED them.
I do not want to destroy the effect of this story on you by giving too much information, but want you to know that it is not a lighthearted tale. The description tells you it will not be fun, but realize that it is real, and the effects are strong. As a mother, it was hard sometimes to listen, but I am glad I did. I am not any kind of activist, nor do I give much thought to human rights around the world, but this gives me pause to consider it more - without telling me I was a bad person for not considering it before now.
Highly suggest this for those strong enough to face harsh truths about this world.
Armchair - and sometimes actual - traveler and Audible Editor with a penchant for literary, lyrical, and at times lighthearted listens. And alliteration.
This is a heartbreaking novel of a thirteen-year-old Nepalese girl, tricked and sold into a brothel in the slums of Calcutta by her gambling-addicted step-father. The free-verse writing style is brought to life in audio; Justine Eyre’s narration is lyrical and pitch-perfect, an intimate glance inside young Lakshmi’s sad world. At times I wanted to stop listening, but found that I just couldn't. This is an emotional, all-encompassing story, and although it's fiction, it really left me thinking about what so many young girls suffer through. A definite tear-jerker.
I am an English teacher in China and can now read and write some Chinese.I have been to 8 countries on 4 continents.I am an avid audiophile and also read a great deal.i play chess,cook,love world music and embrace the outdoors at every opportunity.My favorite listens have all been adventure driven,but I can also appreciate stuff related to science,business and even fiction.
I am only half way through the book,but the first person narrative with an authentic Indian accent seems more truth than fiction.In Asia there are many rural places still where people lead a hand to mouth existence.The star of this book wanted to do everything to help here family.She was duped by her step-father.Something that must happen often in a country like Nepal,but could happen anywhere in developing country.The narrator does a wonderful job of portraying the likely innocence of so many young Asian girls that are dazzled by the city and its fast pace and promise of comfort.You are made to realize that slavery didn't die.It still goes on in many countries and girls are the ones that suffer the worst.I have a better understanding of the so-called modern world and what it has done to exploit those who don't fully grasp the world around them yet.
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.
'Sold' is such a profoundly sad story, and it is intentionally written that way. There just isn't any way to paint a picture of children being sold as sex slaves in a light and cheery way. Of course it is a novel. At least it is advertised that way. However, it would be easier to accept this story as a work of fiction if the reality of the subject wasn't being repeated THOUSANDS of times every single day across planet Earth.
The story is told in a first person perspective. Lakshmi, a naive and trusting Nepalese mountain girl is told that she is going to go to 'The City' to work as a maid. It isn't until an old man is on top of her that she learns the truth. What follows is just a soul crushingly depressing story of murder of a sorts, as Lakshmi's innocence and childhood are killed in no uncertain terms.
It is difficult for a writer to create a fictional character that is human enough to be cared about, worried over, and loved. Yet all great writers are capable of doing it. However, most of those stories are long and epic tales developing a rich history. The length of 'Sold' prevents a detailed backstory, but none is needed. From the opening sentence, Lakshmi becomes the child of any parent and you just want to hold her and protect her. Yet it is her that grabs you and drags you into a world that most of the civilized people of this world are busy pretending doesn't exist.
This book is definitely worth getting.
Retired Life is great
Betrayal of Innocense
The internal dialogue about trusting anyone - the white man with the white card.
Although I've read nonfiction on human trafficking and viewed documentaries, this book told in first person through the eyes and heart of a 12 year girl had a greater impact.
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.
Such a small book to hold so much emotional truth: fear, horror, despair, hope. The language is simple and straightforward as the story of a 13 year old Nepali girl, sold into sexual slavery unfolds. The world described is ugly, but it is the nascent hope that I carry with me.
Definitely recommended for readers of all ages.
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