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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  5,688 ratings  ·  335 reviews
Zana Muhsen, born and bred in Birmingham, is of Yemeni origin. When her father told her she was to spend a holiday with relatives in North Yemen, she jumped at the chance. Aged 15 and 13 respectively, Zana and her sister discovered that they had been literally sold into marriage, and that on their arrival they were virtually prisoners. They had to adapt to a completely ali ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 1st 1994 by Little, Brown Book Group (first published 1991)
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Rian This is very much a real thing in common day, all over the world. Modern day slavery is still very much alive sadly.

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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,688 ratings  ·  335 reviews

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May 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Holy shit.

Seriously, I have little to no words to describe this book. It's not the most well-written piece in the world, but I'll cut her some slack for being ripped from her native country of England at the young age of 16 and forced to speak another language for 8 years while she was beaten, raped, enslaved, and lied to, and as an added bonus, she got to watch her younger sister go through the same shit in the next town over.

See that run-on sentence? We can't all write beautifully when we're
Oct 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: found on the shelf at Heathrow
This brutal narrative by an English-born young Yemeni woman and her sister who were sold into slavery by their father is absolutely horrific. The girls were sent to Yemen on the pretext of a vacation to visit family then sold and married off in a vicious male-dominated society. One of the girls manages to escape, leaving behind her young child and her sister who could not bear to abandon her own child. It is a heartless and brutal land to be born a female in and all I could think of was 'WHAT A ...more
This was an extremely traumatic story, but due to the writing style, I felt somewhat distant from it. I am relieved that the UK has completely overhauled it's attitude to forced marriages and Zana's mother would get help and support to get her children out of this situation if it happened now.
I don't want to sound unsympathetic about the people in this book, but I was surprised by how much Zana's mother trusted their father. He had already taken two of her children out of the country and failed
Apr 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012

Fascinating story, but poorly written. This is the barebones story of two young teenagers who are sold into marriage by their Yemeni father. The author finally makes it home to England, but has to leave her younger sister, son, niece, and nephew behind. This all happened over thirty years ago, but I don't think much has changed in Yemen for women. The father was truly wretched, but I thought the mother was a bit of a dope. She had lost two other children in a similar manner previous to these t
Rana Abid
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Done ♥♥♥
Amazing true story.... I can't stop reading it... 8 years of fear and sadness...hope and disappointing. .. of slavery under the name of marriage :(

For fifteen year old zana and her sister nadia born and raised in Birmingham, a trip to visit relatives in Yemen sounded like a dream come true.
But the holiday soon turned into a terrifying nightmare when they discovered that their father had sold then into arranged marriages . For eight brutal years they lived as helpless prisoners forced to
Feb 10, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: immigrant, true-story
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
sam sam blank
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Memoir of two young English-Yemeni sisters who are 'sold' into marriage. Literally, by their father!! Raised in England, they have reached teenage-hood with all its challenges and rebellious behaviors. Their Dad, convinces the girls to "go on vacation to visit family in Yemen", where, upon their arrival at the relatives village, he sells them into marriage and returns to the UK.. They are cast into the tiny rural mountainous village where they are ruled by their husbands and male relatives and l ...more
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I usually find autobiographies or books that are telling a real life event kind of boring, and I normally find myself skipping some pages. At the beginning of my journey through this book, this was what I expected. However, Zana's thrilling and devastating experience had my eyes wide opened and I kept a firm grip with this group. "Sold" tells a shocking story about two Yemeni sisters that were literally sold (for 1,300 pounds each) into marriage with Yemen man by their own father . This happened ...more
Ora Hudes
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
men of Yemen
treat your women better
you owe it to God
to do so!
Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Well written book. Living in the contemporary Middle East, it was hard to imagine that this happens but in small towns and underdeveloped countries, undoubtedly it does. My heart went out to the author as she retold her situation and her fathers unwillingness to accept his upbringing of daughters in a western world.
Lucy Sands
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Probably one of the most harrowing and compelling reads! This autobiography told by Zana, one of two young teenage sisters from Birmingham, whose father told them he was taking them abroad for a holiday, but instead sold them into marriage and slavery to boys they had never met and who lived in the Yemeni mountains.

In the Yemen were forced to live in poverty stricken villages and were cruelly treated. Every day they walked over rocky terrain to draw water from a well; they were battered and rape
Jan 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I brought this along with the follow up 'A promise to Nadia' I can't recall the press coverage in the 80's but this is still going on. Young girls are 'sold' by their family and taken out of the country my first question was 'whats going on with the school system why didn't anyone ask where the girls where?
You will feel angry at Zana's father and the men that brought her, sad for the girls who had lost their family and friends, frustration as their Mum battled to get them back and outrage that w
Heshot MeDown
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I first read this book when I was about 12 years old and I was astonished. This was the first book that familiarised me with how women live in Yemen and with the issue of sold brides. Until the moment I read it, I had believed that this customs and behaviors had been eliminated long ago.

I was honestly terrified with the things I learned. This book is an autobiography by a British woman who actually experienced being sold into marriage, adapting to a completely alien way of life, with no running
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow, very thought provoking.
Even though the writing style sometimes gives it a light-hearted touch, which may seem a little bit out of place, don't you dare the moments of realisation, when the implications of what you just read kick in.
Thanks Lisa!
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
actual rating: 2.5/5 stars

This book follows such a heavy topic that is very present in our society. How can a father sell his own daughters?! But despite that there were a lot of moments I felt very bored by the story and I felt that nothing really happens most of the time. It took me a long of time to read the book and the edition I read didn't help. The story was very touching but overall it was a 2.5/5 stars reading.

Please Pass the Books
Feb 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book absolutely ticks every box for me when it comes to a captivating story: innocence, conflict, determination, hope, and survival. It is all packaged in a book that delivers a well written, easy to read flow that I could not put down.

The synopsis is well enough described throughout the reviews and book description. What isn't described is the journey of emotion the author takes you on. There is no glossing over the life of this woman, a child sold into marriage in a foreign country, and e
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Zana and Nadia's sold them and two older siblings to people in his homeland - Yemen. Their mother would have never allowed it to happen had she known. Instead she thought the kids were going on vacation in Yemen. It is appalling that countries allow their citizens to be treated this way. It is surprising after losing her first two kids that their mother would have allowed Zana and Nadia to go. What is really shameful is how Yemen allows this to happen and turns their back on the children this is ...more
Badriya  Bintuwaih
Zana Muhsen with Andrew Crofts *True Story*
Zana and Nadia born and raised in Birmingham.
Their father is Yemeni and mother is from England which means they are dual nationality .
In 1980 their father sold them for another Yemeni men
Zana for Abdullah and Nadia for Mohammed
They are sold as wives for them. When actually their father told them they will just go for six week period for a holiday.

For 8 years they suffered from the hard work, abused and bitten up too
Zana is a strong naturally
Caroline Morphett
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Although it's not the most well-written book, i couldn't put it down after the first page. The story of the excruciatingly painful life changes these girls went through, all because of their own belligerent father, is one we should all know. Although it is grim at times, reading about Zana's story and her courageous fight gives you perspective of what life for other women who have no power over their lives, and where they lead.
Reading this not only raises awareness of what goes on miles away in
Felicia A
Very sad and tragic, what happened to these girls, at the hands of their own bastard father. Another book, though, that I cannot rate with a number of stars because it's somebody's LIFE we're talking about.

For anyone who reads this, know that there was a follow up book, A Promise to Nadia. The first one, Sold, details how the sister, Zana, eventually got out of Yemen. A Promise to Nadia haven't read it yet) is said to detail the saga of getting the sister, Nadia, out of Yemen. Don't know yet if
Ririn Marina
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
A heartbreaking appeal!
How could those Arab men "buy" girls from overseas, claimed that they're married with documents whipped from no where, and without properly solemnised the marriage ceremony?
I just can't imagine, modern British girls being sold to Arab men and to lead life of peasants among the deserts and mountains of Yemen, with no modern facilities, and forced to be the slaves of their in-laws!
May 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this book about two years ago, and it didn't make a huge impression on me as there are many other books on this topic. In RE today, we watched the documentary of this book, and actually seeing where the characters lived, and hearing their voices makes the book more real and sad. I really recommend seeing the documentary when reading this, the story is truly heartwrenching.
Justine Skeet
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was glued to this book about amazing women. Powerful and very humbling but I really need to know what happens next.
Alfred Nobile
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
amazed how the male of the species thinks he has the right to decide how women should live their lives. All for his benefit of course. Slavery is still alive and well in the 21st century
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It is truly heartbreaking and the same time very engaging. This story tells you about ones hope and courage. I couldn't put down the book its also a very fast and easy read. I highly recommend it.
Walaa Alnabhan
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It´s a sad story :(
I have a great curiosity to know if Nadia could escape like her sister, Zana. I hope she could.
Sena Zimmer
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio
I enjoyed this story of a young country girl whose step father sold her knowing she would be a prostitute against her will. How tragic for this innocent 14 yearold girl who thought she was going to be a maid.
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Speechless. Story that has to be read and heard to be believed in.
Feb 10, 2014 rated it liked it
I did like the story as a whole but I only gave it a three rating because I didn't care for the style of writing. If writing it herself, as Zana is not a professional writer, the style would be easier to accept but she had a ghostwriter, someone who is a professional, yet often the writing came across as very elementary and the pacing could be erratic, in my opinion.

There are some things I wish had been explored or explained. One of those is that after essentially kidnapping the two oldest child
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book had an impact on my life long before I ever got a copy and read it. I can clearly remember my mum being traumatised by reading this when it first came out. It just so happened to be around the time my dad was thinking about sending me to Iran, to meet his family and learn his language. Absolutely no chance of that ever happening after mum read this. And having read this now, I can't blame her really.

It's absolutely shocking reading how a father sold his daughters off as wives - to his
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Let's Start a Boo...: January Book Review: Sold 1 2 Jan 26, 2014 07:31PM  

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Zana Muhsen is a British author who has written about the experiences that she and her sister, Nadia (born 1966), went through when they were sent from their birthplace in Birmingham, England to Yemen in 1980 on a purported holiday to meet the paternal side of their family, but sold unaware into marriage in by their father, Muthanna Muhsen, a Yemeni émigré.

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