Louise Chambers's Reviews > The Blue Notebook

The Blue Notebook by James A. Levine
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's review
Mar 25, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: india, child-prostitution, epistolary-journal, modern-slavery
Recommended to Louise by: Denver Public Library
Recommended for: child sex slavery, india, human rights
Read from March 22 to 24, 2010

Let's be clear: this young woman is a sex-slave, not a prostitute. She will never see any of the money that she brings in for her captors. She was sold into this life by her father so that he could "save the farm".

If she lives to be old enough to be turned out of sex-slavery, she will still be used in the industry to "break" the new girls; we see her future in the old woman who prepares her to be broken by the highest bidder: her new "uncle".

If she were a prostitute, she might have some decision making freedom of her own, if she were to remain free of drugs. She isn't doing this to make a bit of money for the next semester of college. Batuk is merely a faceless toy, a throwaway, and the reason they have chosen her rather than a more high-priced "independent" prostitute is that she is cheap and easily disposed of.

That she survives the attack is somewhat mysterious and miraculous. Mr. Vas must have grown a spine; but where does this "savior" disappear to?

Ultimately, there is no happy ending; will she survive the remergence of TB? The horrid infections from the attack? The psychological scars?

She can read and write. I hold hope that somehow someone at the hospital will take the time to make a commitment to her.

Say what you will about Christianity, but it is the only religion that seems to truly dedicate itself to charity. No "orphanages" run by gangs of sadists and thieves. And Hinduism may be lovely, but one hundred and fifty years after freedom from colonialism, they still promote caste and class; witness Batuk pleading for clemency from a madman who considered her nothing more than a "throwaway" that he could pay someone to haul to the dump if needed.

Read carefully. Add some other literature about this subject to balance and add to your knowledge. This is a true story. Women are the niggers of the world--John Lennon and Yoko Ono
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Reading Progress

03/23/2010 page 24

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