SOLD

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Title: SOLD

Author: Patricia McCormick

First Edition: 2006

Pages:  263

Genre: Realistic fiction

 

“If your husband asks you to wash his feet, you must do as he says, then put a bit of water in your mouth.”

“I ask Ama why. “Why,” I say, “must women suffer so?”

“This is had always been our fate,” she says.

“Simply to endure,” she says,” is to triumph.”–SOLD

In Nepal, in a small rural village made of mud huts and rice fields, thirteen-year-olds Lakshmi has a mother who loves her, a teacher who believes in her, and a stepfather who gambles. When the Himalayan monsoons destroy the family’s crops, Lakshimi’s stepfather sells Lakshimi to a woman who smells of amber and night flowers. Lakshimi will work as a maid in the city–a job that will pay for a tin roof and rice for her family. Glad to help, Lakshimi follow the woman from village to village until she is sold to a brothel in India, where she has to work to pay her debt.

This is a beautifully crafted story written in free verse.

When the readers meet the village, Lakshimi, and her family, each verse contains powerful and uplifting emotions, which take you into the world of a girl who dare to dream of a better life.

Each verse brings to life, with poetic sadness and childish hope, the cruelty and the inevitability of a patriarchal society where women are subordinated to men in every aspect of life. Yet, Lakshimi’s life is simple and complete, ruled by traditions she understands and accepts.

But, when Lakshimi is sold to the brothel, the verses become poisonous fangs—like the fangs of a nasty snake, the verses suddenly cut your skin and bite into your tender heart making your muscles stiff and your lungs dry.

The brothel life is horrifying and difficult to read.

“Men come.

They crush my bones with their weight.

They split me open.

Then they disappear.”

Not only men but, but also, and especially, women are cruel and unable to fight their fate and the fate of their daughters.

Women sell their daughters to brothels, where girls, as young as six, are given to men who pay big money for a “pure one.”

Women drugs girls and offer them to men.

Women punish girls with sticks smeared with chilies paste.

Women do this to girls and to other women because in the society in which they live a woman is like a breathing object that can be used, sold, abused, and resold until death.

This is a novel loaded with the customs and traditions of Nepal–traditions that will give you acute urticaria.

The novel tells brutal truths that every single person needs to hear.

YES, traditions and customs are important and should be preserved.

BUT, banishing a girl to a” menstrual hut” during her period to let her die in freezing conditions and poor hygiene, or selling a girl, like an animal, in a brothel are acts that cannot be justified as cultural traditions or as fate.

“ Each year, nearly 12,000 Nepali girls are sold by their families, intentionally or unwittingly into the life of sexual slavery in the brothels of India. These young girls have experienced…unspeakable horrors. But they are speaking out—with great dignity…

It is in their honor that this book was written.” SOLD

sold.jpg
The Red Scarf-Oil pastel on oil pastel paper made by Ink n Paper

 

Hug,

Ink n Paper.

13 Comments

    1. I hope you will have the time to read it. It is a story hard to digest , expecially for people of a culture different from the Nepali culture. But, I learned so much from it. I finished the book and then I made the oil pastel drawing . In that drawing there are all my emotions and my thoughts on the life of Nepali women—-the promise of a golden life covered by a filty scarf.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My must-read list is growing fast! I’m currently finishing up “The Hiding Place” by Corrie Ten Boom. After that I’m going to read “The Haunting of Hill House”. I’m sure you’ve read “The Girl with the Pearl Earring.” Have you done a review on it? I recently read it after studying Vermeer’s paintings.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I read the Girl with the Pearl Earring twice and watched the related movie twice! It is one of my fav. books of all times! I identify with the girl and also with the painter. I am an ancient soul and often I think I was born in another era and landed here in modern times by mistake. 🙂
        I have a drawing I made inspired by the book. I think I will read it again and review it asap.
        I did not read the Hiding Place..but it is now in my list!
        I am almost done with reading The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Usually, if a film is based on a novel, I read the novel first and then I watch the film. This was an okay film….photography and settings in the film are worderful, but the novel is better.
        A film I love with all my heart is Jane Eyre (1996) by Franco Zaffirelli. I watched in Italy before moving to the U.S. and I fell in love with the characters, music, atmosphere, and settings. The full movie is not online but you may find a few scenes on YouTube.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I always try to read the book first if I know there’s a movie. I don’t watch a lot of films, but if I do see a good one and then learn that it was based on a novel, I’ll read the novel, too. I can’t think of any instance where a film was better than a novel. And some novels just don’t make good films. I’m thinking of Anne Tyler’s “Accidental Tourist” — loved the book, but couldn’t get past the slow opening of the film.

        Liked by 1 person

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