The book-cover was beautiful. On the cover page Somaly sat there, thinking, looking towards her future maybe. As the fortune-teller told her -
' the b
The book-cover was beautiful. On the cover page Somaly sat there, thinking, looking towards her future maybe. As the fortune-teller told her -
' the black one - she will have the three flags' - power, honour and money. 'She will travel in plane andshe will be a leader in the family'. She will help you.'
This is the first memoir I have read. I don't know, why I chose it. Maybe I wanted an author from another part of the world for my Orbis Terrarum CHallenge! But I never thought, it will this different. I sometimes, never read reviews about certain books. And this was one of them. I knew, what it was about. But never knew, how intense it could be.
As you all might already know, Somaly is from Cambodia, and now a Cambodian heroine. She was abandoned at birth by her parents and was looked after by her Grandmother until she disappeared.She was taken into the care of a man she called Grandfather, but was treated no better than a upaid servant. Raped at 12 and forced to marry at 15, Somaly was then sold to a brothel. After years of abuse she managed to escape.
She was the 'lucky' one, who survived, escaped and never got a disease. Somaly in 1997, co-founded AFESIP to combat trafficking in women and children for sexual slavery...rape.
"It's still happening constantly, today, tonight. My story doesn't matter, except that it stands for the hundreds' of girls stories too, and there stories is why I don't sleep at night. They haunt me."
Somaly talks about herself, what she went through in a tone, that doesn't demand sympathy. She just never uses emotions/feelings to state her experiences, and in itself touches you. You can't believe this is actually happening to someone out there! Kids aged 5-6 yrs a\old are sold off by there own kin. And these people live with the money, the girls earn through prostitution. In men, it is highly believed that sex with a virgin, will cure them off many diseases, including AIDS. But these little girls, get them faster. The little girls vagina are sewn back and they are sold again. If you are a virgin, you should cry and bleed. and these little girls cried and bled. They were beaten, punished and what not. It is too cruel to even say!
Leading a normal life is not possible for them. Even Somaly, has nightmares that don't let her sleep.
"But I couldn't take the image of the sex-related violence out of my mind. There was nothing I could do to annihilate my past. Coming back to life, to some kind of innocence, felt immposible. I didn't know where my youth was, where to dig to look, if not for happiness, at least for some kind of peace. It is the evil done to me, that propels me on. Is there any oter way to excercise it?"
I want you guys to actually buy this book and read! I want you to read it and cry, as I did! I feel suddenly so overwhelmed. I can't imagine there plights. Today AFESIP is trying hard to save thousands of girls in Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia [ south-east Asia] where women - trafficking is the highest and is worth 500 million dollars, roughly the amount of money that the government allocates for Cambodia.
If buying this book, pays even for one girl's one day food; I am glad I did something, even if it is a mere nothing. What else can we do?! [ Please read the rest of the review on my blog, it will look better as there are quotes from the book, that are not properly formatted here! Read it here- http://test-veens.blogspot.com/2008/1...]
This book, 500 odd pages! I don't know WHY I picked it up! [ S. Krishna's review and was available at an amazing price as well ], but 500 pages, I didThis book, 500 odd pages! I don't know WHY I picked it up! [ S. Krishna's review and was available at an amazing price as well ], but 500 pages, I didn't think I would be able to complete it, over this month at least. But yesterday, I slept at 4 AM. Just because I wanted to know, who killed Harriet Vanger! When the story started, I had no clue what was in store! But then when the main protagonist Blomkvist meets Henrik Vanger; the story is a roller-coaster ride. How the heck do you think, can one person find out about a person who is been missing for 40 years! Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo is a very interesting character. She has so many issues, despite of which she has some enviable talents as well. She helps Blomkvist in his investigation. Salander specializes in digging out information, she is the best researcher in whole of Sweden.
All characters, everything about this book is awesome! It is awesome the way the story unfolds, bit by bit! I really like Blomkvist and Salander's team! I really like Henrik Vanger too. The Swedish names are a bit troublesome, though you would usually wouldn't need to remember them at all. Awesome Book, a page-turner [even if it is a BIG book :)] I am SURE, you will enjoy this thriller/mystery! Damn! I read it in the night, and I don't know it gave me creeps, reading it. of course there is no ghosts, but still. Anyone waiting for the next in this millennium trilogy? I am most definitely waiting. It is available for pre-order :)! Go ahead and order your copy at amazon, I have to wait :( !...more
I wouldn't say this tale is a simple one for a normal reader like me! But it definitely is an sophisticated novel, which requires a lot of effort fromI wouldn't say this tale is a simple one for a normal reader like me! But it definitely is an sophisticated novel, which requires a lot of effort from the reader! The way story weaves around past and present of Estha and Rahel [the twins] is fantastic, it is an effortless effort [:)] I felt sad for Velayutha , his love for Ammu was so heart-warming, and his love for Estha and Rahel was so amazing! The characterization is flawless, and their flaws remind you that this book is written on very real people. I felt sad when Rahel always remembered, that she was loved a little less. And I can remember, feeling the same when I was a kid [:)] though in very different circumstances. The prose is beautiful! There are some that you want to sit and re-read and capture their meaning again and again!
I also liked the way Rahel and Estha, became comrades and such imaginary stuff! It is so original! The way Rahel kills the red ants, and how Sophie Mol, tells her to leave one so that it can feel “lonely”. I like the way there are so many delicate storied weaved and how effortlessly we come back to the original story of Estha and Rahel, that we don’t get lost in them!
No doubt this book is a master piece, but my only problem was that it didn’t hold my attention for a long time, which took me longer than usual to reach the ending point! The ending according to me is perfect, there was no other place for Rahel and Estha, except for each other. I hated Baby Kochamma with a passion, that no other character has generated in me for a long time now. The last chapter is beautiful, every sentence is knit with an expertise that I don't think I have read in a long time. The emotions are so raw, and the feelings are audible and it is plain breath-taking.
Although this is a very sad novel, I would say I felt good after the ending was over. There were no questions left unanswered... there was no story left half-heartedly told.
Even though it is a beautiful book, I reiterate the problem I had was to concentrate on it. Though I must admit, that I got really interested in the book when I had reached half-way through it.
I give it a 4 on 5 [ coz it is not a fast read]...more
- my life long challenge of reading all the Man Booker Award winners. - for Orbis Terrarum Challenge ['The Gathering' is the book I was reading for -
- my life long challenge of reading all the Man Booker Award winners. - for Orbis Terrarum Challenge [ she is from Ireland].
I am not completely done with the book, but still thought about pening down my thought so far. Being completely new to this style of writing, I didn't like it much at thebeginning, I felt as if, there was nothing much except Veronica's thinking, that was being talked about. It sounded all confused, not- clear at all. She contadicted her own-self. And lot such negatives. Her big-fat Irish family, was not at all likable.
I liked Ada and her story.
Veronica[Vee] is struck with the thoughts of her alcholic sibling Liam who has drowned himself. Vee is the closest to Liam, and she also in some ways hates Liam. This is the story, of Vee trying to figure out if there was something more than the drink, something in their past that killed Liam.
Following the disorganized thoughts of Vee is sometimes frustrating and she herself feels it too. There is no better way to portray the set of emotions evoked by both tragedy and monotony than to mirror that chaos with stream of consciousness-style writing. Anne Enright does an amazing job.
But to be really truthful, none of the characters in her Booker-prize winning novel are likable. But certain things are there that I do identify with.
The Little Prince is my first graphic novel, which I picked up because I found a free eBook. I have read a graphic short story and loved it, and so IThe Little Prince is my first graphic novel, which I picked up because I found a free eBook. I have read a graphic short story and loved it, and so I thought I would love this too. As it started off, I thought it was for kids, but then it being in the 1001 list of books, kept me moving forward[ mind you, i am talking about the first page here :D ]. This narration is done by a small boy, 6 year old. His point of view of "grown-ups" is so interesting. There are many a passages I read and stopped to just ponder over it. It was so true. Maybe because the narration was done by a small boy, is what amazed me more, or the amount of light this small boy threw upon the grown-up stereotypical behavior is what amazed me, I can't say. But whatever it was, it really did keep me hooked to this simple but thought-provoking book till I finished it.
And that it was written some where in 1960's is just unbelievable. It is amazing to say the least. I wish you all pick it up and read. It is just 78 pages, but so rich and profound, that you will want to re-read it again!
It is an AWESOME book. If any of you wants the eBook, comment with your mail IDs and I would be happy to send it to you....more
Amber is 19 year old and her brother Guy [yep that's the name] come to Toronto after a misfortune to study and live with their uncle Ian. But Uncle IaAmber is 19 year old and her brother Guy [yep that's the name] come to Toronto after a misfortune to study and live with their uncle Ian. But Uncle Ian doesn't come to pick them up at the station and neither does he pick up the calls that Amber incessantly makes. After a detour to his place, that Amber has visited just once previously, they find out that he is left his apartment and abandoned them for good. Amber has always wanted independence and the responsibilities of being a young adult, and having Guy there with her was just a coincidence.
Let me first tell you, that not being from the culture, I didn’t understand a lot of terms, but it was not that bad that I didn’t understand anything at all. Amber wants to be responsible and get both their lives sorted out, but her main problem is, she can’t and would not ask for help. She is one of those typical 19 year old's, who want the freedom, the fun of making your own choices; just that all the choices go wrong, very wrong. The novel successfully depicts the confusion of a 19 yr old girl, who is left alone with a brother in an unknown city with limited cash flow. One other thing, was the language and the depiction of the surroundings and the work-culture, when you First join; that was good too. Amber talks about architecture. That is interesting as I have never viewed any building with this kind of passion. Apparently she comes to Toronto to learn Architecture.
I felt really- really bad for Guy. In his sister’s pursuit of setting things right, Guy is totally neglected. Initially he believes his big sister would make things right, which fails and it gets frustrating for him. Now all he gets is a "Shut Up" on any logical question he asks Amber. I feel really sad for him. Being younger sibling doesn't mean you should not be heard. The ending is sad and is an open one.
I totally couldn't understand Amber's attitude. The first thing she should have done was to call up Janelle [the social worker]. Sometimes, you just want to shake her up and tell her to go freaking call the social-worker, and when she does the last time, it is all gone so wrong.
It is an YA fiction novel. I give it 3 on 5 Stars. ...more
The Triumph of Deborah by Eva Etzioni – Halevy is a riveting tale of a determined, highly respected leader and prophetess Deborah.
This novel is set inThe Triumph of Deborah by Eva Etzioni – Halevy is a riveting tale of a determined, highly respected leader and prophetess Deborah.
This novel is set in ancient Israel in the twelfth to the mid eleventh centuries BCE. In this gripping tale, Deborah is a very powerful woman who judged the people of Israel. People from far and wide would come to Deborah to seek judgment and counsel. Deborah was married to Lapidoth, and could hear God’s voice too. Her prophecies were highly revered and mostly came true too. She more than often set out to tell people the wishes of God and to tell them to mend their ways or else the wrath from Heaven would be unbearable.
On one such day, Deborah has a vision, and understands that she has to have a war against the neighboring Canannites, who have been terrorizing the people of Israel and looting them and killing many as well. She summons Barak, the mightiest of all and asks him to launch a war against them. Despite all the odds, they succeed. From the destroyed royal family of the Cannanites, Barak brings back 2 princesses Asherah, the most beautiful of the beauties and Nogah, the illegitimate daughter of the King.. And thus starts a gripping tale of love, disappointment and hatred.
The story weaves around Deborah, but at no point in the novel, do we feel that she is the only person. She is extremely powerful, but never uses her power for anything that’s against Torah rules. She is very humble and generous all throughout but nevertheless not perfect and I really found that aspect of her drawing. Barak on the other hand is one man, who is powerful, intelligent and a womanizer but extremely noble in his heart. He never forces his way with women, but women are drawn to him so much that they feel it a great reward to be with him.
I would love to say that I am in love with Barak’s character, but Nogah is the one who got all my love and anticipation. She is the quite powerhouse of knowledge and love and I identified with her so much too. And for being her aide, I really liked Uriel also.
Being totally clueless about this chapter in the Bible, I was truly amazed at the in depth knowledge about this period of time, that this book bestowed on me. It was fast-paced, well-written and Eva has done full justice to all her characters. I would love to tell you all about each and every character and more about them, but I would like you all to read and ravish and understand.
I give it 5 on 5. And I am thankful that I read this amazing tale that has given me a taste for historical fiction. I am all ready to pick up other titles by Eva herself....more
Jumble Pie is an interesting tale of friendship of two very different girls Emily and Juliet. How there friendship starts, how it grows, how it witherJumble Pie is an interesting tale of friendship of two very different girls Emily and Juliet. How there friendship starts, how it grows, how it withers and how it restarts.
Emily Meredith, who talked at 9 months, Longfellow Elementary School Spelling Bee Champion for three years in a row, the youngest champion, ever, then the youngest editor of the Ravenwood Rooster ever, then graduate at the top of our class and get a scholarship to a fancy-schmancy college.
But Juliet Montague, she is just an average confused person. Em, is so sure of what she wants! and Jules, she knows only to follow Em. They meet the first time, and make a pie in Home Ec classes. They makes Jumble Pie... which they make thereafter at their every meeting, every special day. Jumble Pie, for Em is a symbol of their friendship, a metaphor! But then, as these 2 ladies grow into their years, many things change. There outlook to "what they want from life" changes. Jules and Em both change a little bit. For Em, there Jumble Pie is still a metaphor. Like Em helped Jules out in high school, she wants Jules to do the same... the only thing is that Jules has other priorities and Em is jealous of Jules achievements. Her happiness is infectious to her! Emily's thoughts are very profound to say the least! It is a very good book. I really liked it! And if you want to read it, it is available free for download! Yep! All you have to do is to goto www.MelanieLynneHauser.com/JumblePie and give your mail ID there. And the author will send you the PDF in the mail :) It is a cute little story, you feel so sad for Em and in some ways for Jules too. In some way for their friendship.
I won [YAY!] a SIGNED copy of Matrimony by Joshua Henkin at Alea's Pop Culture Junkie. Joshua Henkin sent it to me with a message on it. The charactersI won [YAY!] a SIGNED copy of Matrimony by Joshua Henkin at Alea's Pop Culture Junkie. Joshua Henkin sent it to me with a message on it. The characters were outlined with graceful beauty. The turn on events had no effect on the characters, they were essentially sublime all throughout the novel. They reacted with the same intensity as expected but that infuriated me sometimes; I wanted more emotion, more anger maybe more [:-)].
When Mia wanted to ask her mother - 'Who will take care of me' - I had tears in my eyes.
I laughed out loud at Cooper - the little adorable nuisance and I can swear my beau wore goggles while cutting onions too [if you have read the book, you know what I am referring too].
I loved the fact that no one was perfect in this novel, and there was not one scene I would say had come out of the sky. I am not from the culture showcased in the book, but I identified with it so much.
I also loved the fact that, even being a rich-kid, Julian didn't have the best of lives. He had his ups and downs. And he took his own time to get it right, and when he did, he didn't change with it.
I think my review is a lot personal :o) But I read every book like that. So, if you guys want a light read, and a fast read and also something that’s real as well as enjoyable - go for this one....more
Like Water for Chocolate – A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances and Home Remedies is a mystical tale, that I enjoyed thoroughly. BeiLike Water for Chocolate – A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances and Home Remedies is a mystical tale, that I enjoyed thoroughly. Being always greedy for good food, my taste buds never slept, after I started reading this amazing tale. It is so ‘fairy-talish’ and yet so real. I loved Tita, and was amazed at the speed with which the story accelerated each month. I must say that the end was amazing, nothing that I did expected at all. There have been mixed reaction to this novel, but I completely adored it. I had half a mind to test these recipes, or the Home remedies; but there were so many things I didn’t understand that I would not dare try. I never knew about so many things – related to kitchen. It is amazing, that I really enjoyed the peek-a-boo into Mexican ranch life of the nineteenth century. If you enjoy something mystical, love cooking, have problem in keeping your taste-buds from becoming watery and are emotional about love and women who don’t seem to get their love … then this book is for you … as much as it is for me. Loved it totally.And hope you too love it too!...more