Lauren's Reviews > The Blue Notebook

The Blue Notebook by James A. Levine
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's review
Apr 15, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-in-2011
Read from April 15 to 16, 2011 — I own a copy

This book is not for the light-hearted, and it's not a light read. It is, however, a deeply moving and disturbing story about children in the sex slavery trade in India. It is not meant to be an enjoyable read, but it is a book that brings awareness about the problem of children sex slavery throughout the world.
Batuk is only 9 years old when her family sells her into sex slavery. She is brough to Mumbai by her father and left in a brothel with a newfound "uncle." She refers to herself as a prostitute, but she is not really a prostitute as she doesn't get paid for her "work," rather the owners of the brothel make money off of her.
We read about Batuk's life from her perspective, as she writes in her blue notebook in between customers. We read about her life with her family, her trip to Mumbai, her life in an "orphanage" prior to being permanently in her cage servicing customers, her "marriage," and her only friend, a castrated male prostitute named Puneet. Despite the fact that she is very childlike in some ways (she refers to her profession as "making sweet-cake" and her customers as "bakers"), she also is wise beyond her years. It is not surprising, as given her profession she would have aged well beyond her years. After 6 years in the brothel she is bought by a rich man so she can entertain his son and his son's friends at a graduation party. Despite the beautiful surroundings, Batuk's life in the hotel does not improve and, actually gets worse.
I wish I could say this story has a happy ending, but the end of the book does not give any answers.
This book made me feel sad, feel very angry, and also made me numb at times as well. I highly recommend to read this book if you can stomach a somewhat graphic subject matter of child sexual abuse and sex slavery.

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04/15/2011 page 79

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