Lately, I have been searching for a great book to completely obsess over and I have found nothing. Now that’s not to say that there are no good books out there because my receipts from Barnes and Noble say otherwise. I just haven’t found a book that makes me want to drop everything and read it for hours until I finish it. We all know what this is: a book drought. Common symptoms include fatigue, irritability, and buying tons of books you don’t really need.
When this happens to me, I often find myself going back and re-reading books that I have fallen in love with. So that’s what I did with Stolen by Patricia McCormick. I finished this book in a day and I’m honestly so glad that I read it.
Stolen is about this 13-year-old girl named Lakshmi who lives in Nepal, but later moves to India after being sold into prostitution. How does a 13-year-old girl end up being sold for sex? Well often what happens with illegal prostitution is that the person or ‘company’ will tell a family that they have something like a house cleaning job opportunity for their child in order for them to get money.
Since some of the biggest and most terrible prostitution joints are in rural areas such as India, this form of ‘marketing’ usually gets the parents to give over their child. And that’s exactly what happens to Lakshmi.
Since her parents lost all of their crops due to severe Himalayan monsoons and that was their only source of incoming money, she was sold.
Lakshmi then travels to India where she realizes that she has been sold into a prostitution joint. With this comes terrible living conditions, hardly any food, and encounters with girls who have been at this home for more than five years.
When reading this book, there were times that I needed to physically set down my book and take a step back to breathe. Not only did the descriptions of what sorts of gruesome torture and circumstances they were under make me want to claw my own skin off, but there’s also the haunting fact that everything in the book are true encounters of what happened to some girls in circumstances like these.
After graduating from the Columbia School of Journalism, McCormick started to launch her journalism career. She actually traveled to India and Nepal to get interviews of girls who have been rescued from the sex trade and was then able to write Stolen based on her encounters there.
I honestly don’t know what’s more impressive, the fact that she graduated from Columbia or that she was able to listen to these girl’s stories without breaking down in tears.
It’s been about a year and a half since I read this book and about four months since I’ve reread it and if that doesn’t say something then I will.
When one of the hundreds of books a person has read still has them talking about it that’s not only saying something about the author, but it also says something about the situation.
Not to slam on the Fantasy genre, but I feel something different when I’m reading about a wizard trying to stop a man with no nose than when I’m reading about a girl who’s addicted to drugs and is only staying in the prostitution home because that’s how she can fuel her addiction.
All books hold a certain message, so next time pick up something with a little more weight.
Let me know what you want reviewed next!