Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Walk Across the Sun
By: Corban Addison
Summary:When a tsunami rages through their coastal town in India, 17-year-old Ahalya Ghai and her 15-year-old sister Sita are left orphaned and homeless. With almost everyone they know suddenly erased from the face of the earth, the girls set out for the convent where they attend school. They are abducted almost immediately and sold to a Mumbai brothel owner, beginning a hellish descent into the bowels of the sex trade.
 Halfway across the world, Washington, D.C., attorney Thomas Clarke faces his own personal and professional crisis-and makes the fateful decision to pursue a pro bono sabbatical working in India for an NGO that prosecutes the subcontinent's human traffickers. There, his conscience awakens as he sees firsthand the horrors of the trade in human flesh, and the corrupt judicial system that fosters it. Learning of the fate of Ahalya and Sita, Clarke makes it his personal mission to rescue them, setting the stage for a riveting showdown with an international network of ruthless criminals.
  Review: A walk Across the sun was a heartbreaking story about two sisters who after surviving a tsunami and becoming orphans, trust the wrong people and get kidnapped and are sold to a brothel owner in Mumbai and one gets sold to men immediately while the other goes on a hellish journey around the world being asked to do unspeakable things, while this book gives off more hope (than the Blue Notebook reviewed below) with a US attorney working on their case with a law group in Mumbai it still takes you into the dark world of sex trafficking and how it can ruin and change lives forever.
Rating <3<3<3<3<3

The Blue Notebook
By: James Levine
Summary:Every now and then, we come across a novel that moves us like no other, that seems like a miracle of the imagination, and that haunts us long after the book is closed. James Levine’s The Blue Notebook is that kind of book. It is the story of Batuk, an Indian girl who is taken to Mumbai from the countryside and sold into prostitution by her father; the blue notebook is her diary, in which she recalls her early childhood, records her life on the Common Street, and makes up beautiful and fantastic tales about a silver-eyed leopard and a poor boy who fells a giant with a single gold coin. 

Rating <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Review: This book is not one to be taken lightly, it is graphic, real, and I ordered it after I read the book A Walk Across the Sun  and saw it mentioned as another good resource.  It followed the life of a young girl named Batuk who is sold by her Father in Mumbai, she literally lives in a "nest" and mentions in the book at one point that she has up to ten men a day to service, which has become nothing to her.  The book leaves out no details, every harrowing part of this little girls life is laid out to bare, but maybe that is what we as a society need.  The fact that this is still legal and going on in all countries INCLUDING the USA disgusts me and for every little girl like Batuk, there will be another, if you can handle this book I'd recommend it, but don't blame the author for not hiding the truth, because it is there if you look and no matter how ugly it does not make it untrue.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Title: The Help

By Kathryn Stockett

Rating <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Summary: "The Help" will live in hearts and minds, be taught in schools, be cherished by readers. The three women who form its core, idealistic Skeeter, loving Aibileen, and sarcastic, sassy Minny, narrate their chapters each in a voice that is distinctive as Minny's caramel cake no one else in Jackson, Mississippi, can duplicate.

These stories of the black maids working for white women in the state of Mississippi of the 60s have an insiders' view of child-rearing, Junior League benefits, town gossip, and race relations.

Despite the fact that the maids prepare the food, care for the children, and clean every part of every home, privy to every secret, many of the white women look at their black maids as an alien race. There are more enlightened views, especially those of Skeeter, a white, single woman with a college degree, who aspires to more than earning her MRS. Skeeter begins collecting the maids' stories. And the maids themselves find the issue of race humiliating, infuriating, life-controlling. Race sows bitter seeds in the dignity of women who feel they have no choices except to follow their mamas into the white women's kitchens and laundries. Aibilene says, "I just want things to be better for the kids." Their hopes lie in education and improvement, change someday for their children.

There is real danger for the maids sharing their stories as well as danger for Skeeter herself. The death of Medgar Evers touches the women deeply, making them question their work and a decision to forge ahead, hoping their book can be published anonymously and yet not recognized by the very white women they know to the last deviled egg and crack in a dining room table.

Review: I will admit I have  seen the movie for The Help, and while at the time I thought it was a very inspiring movie, does a movie ever really hold up to a book? In Ms. Stockett's The Help you go inside the world of African American women in Mississippi who were struggling against the magnificently displayed racism of the time even with the changes that were being made in places like Washington,  in Mississippi they still couldn't go in the same doors as whites, use the same bathrooms, and not until the end of the book even use the White Public Library.  

When a young twenty-three year old college graduate; Skeeter returns home at first things return to normal she hangs out with friends at the Junior League, plays tennis matches, and worries about what to write about, then after getting a part time job writing cleaning articles for   the local newspaper, she thinks of an idea, what would it be like to write a book from the perspective of The Help? Not the white women but the maids who work for them, Skeeter gets this idea when she has had to listen to her supposed "best friend" Hilly drone on about the new home health initiative which will require whites to have separate bathrooms for their colored help in their homes because of "disease and sanitation issues." Skeeter looks at Abilene who is Elizabeth's (one of the white women's) maid and sees how she is just staring down and decides to ask her if she will help when she helps her with the Miss Myrna columns because ELizabeth has agreed that she can ask Abilene questions if need be.  And well from there the story begins, it takes Abilene awhile to come around but she does, and eventually so will others, there are tragedies, love stories, and racism and prejudice, that could knock your teeth out, and yet still a bond between these women serving and the children that they have to raise then turn around and serve all over that is heart breaking.  It's quite a dynamic and I highly recommend this book! FYI -The author had such a maid herself if you look at the back of the book there are about eight pages about her very interesting. This book is well worth the time. 

For those who want more of a book breakdown - each character has their own dynamic - it it easy to switch from one person to another.  The setting is beautifully described,  The book is written in more of a narrative form switching from character to character, which frankly I found more interesting. And the plot is easy to follow only going back in time during the book (the maids stories) and a few times with Ms. Skeeter.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Reason for no new reviews? Because the reader here can't get involved in a plot she's reading, my friend lent me the Help so I am actually reading that entire book but the last two I'm sorry but I can't just currently involve myself in for some reason, so newest review coming The Help :) Of course there are only two of you out there as far as I know and if there are more FOLLOW ! Anyway there is the update now back to my migraine the highlight on this rainy day ;)

Upcoming Review: The Help