Can She Ever Be Free?
Author: Patricia McCormick
LIFE IS HARSH
in the mountain village in Nepal
where Lakshmi works hard
alongside her mother to look after
the family. When her stepfather
finds her a job as a maid in the city,
Lakshmi begins the long journey to
India dreaming of earning money
and making her family proud.
The truth that awaits her is a living
Sold is a book that contains such gruesome story line, that you will become unsettled. More so, because you know that although this is a work of fiction, for many girls this is their reality.
The very fact that the protagonist of this book, Lakshmi, was so young, made the book all the more interesting. The initial days, where Lakshmi is “trained”, is especially hard to read. When Lakshmi surrenders to the way of life that she is now expected to live, she befriends a young boy who is about her age. He is able to go to school, play around, and just be innocent. It shows an interesting contrast to their lives, and as readers we find ourselves thinking that this is what Lakshmi’s life should be vis-a-vis what it really is.
The story is a quick read. It is a verse written as a prose. So, the brief sentences actually bring out the deep aesthetics that are hidden in the passages.
My only issue with the book was that it had the typical “gallant white people going out of their way to help the poor brown person” trope”. This is why the ending seemed a bit un-realistic to me, as compared to the rest of the story. While there is no doubt that there are white people who work for this cause, I felt it was a bit too much to credit them entirely for “saving” the girls! I felt it would have been better had credit been given to institutions who work day and night for this cause. Of course, this is just a suggestion, and in no way taking away from the fact that this is a great read.
On the whole, this is a very powerful book, with an ending that could have been better. I rate this book 3.5 out of 4.