Sold – Patricia McCormick
Book Group 2 – April 2020
The heart-wrenching story of Lakshmi, from Nepal, who is sold into prostitution at the age of 13, and kept captive in Happiness House - where she not only survives against all odds, but triumphs.
Lakshmi's family is desperately poor, but village life in the mountains of Nepal has its share of pleasures. When the monsoons wreck their crops, Lakshmi's stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family. She arrives at Happiness House full of hope, but soon learns the unthinkable truth - she has been sold into prostitution.
This new world becomes a nightmare from which there is no escape. But, very gradually, Lakshmi makes friends with others in the house, and gathers her courage, until the day she has to face the hardest decision of all: will she risk everything to reclaim her life? And she does the best she can.
‘Simple, eloquent, and shocking. A phenomenal book, a punch in the gut…McCormick has taken a difficult, distasteful subject and written something readable and compassionate without shying away from the truths of the matter. I only wish it was a historical document, not a portrait of a world we have all helped to create,’ says Deborah Ellis, author of the Parvana series. (allenandunwin)