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The Guest Room
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December 2017: Social Issues > The Guest Room, by Chris Bohjalian; 4.5 Stars

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Hahtoolah | 432 comments The Guest Room, by Chris Bohjalian (2016)

This novel is about sex trafficking. It is a timely topic as several organizations that I belong to have begun to advocate for stronger legislation to prevent the selling of young girls.

The novel begins when Richard Chapman agrees to host a bachelor party for his wild younger brother in his (Richard's) home. The brother, Philip, has his friends arrange for a stripper to be the "talent" at the party. Two girls and their guards show up for the party. At the end of the night, the guards are dead and the strippers are gone.

The story primarily follows Alexandra, one of the strippers. We learn that she is Armenian and as a young girl had dreams of becoming a ballerina. When she is 15 years old, her mother dies. Her mother's boss convinces her grandmother that Alexandra should go to Moscow for ballet training. She leaves her grandmother and goes to Moscow with big dreams. That first night, however, she is brutally raped and threatened that if she tries to leave, her grandmother will be harmed.

She and other girls like her are trained to be "courtesans", but are kept in virtual slavery. Alexandra is sent to America with the promise that she can be free after working for only 2 or 3 years. Hence, her being sent to the bachelor party.

The novel goes back and forth between Alexandra and the aftermath of the murders at the party. It depicts a fairly accurate picture of the sex slave industry. Chris Bohjalian is an excellent writer.

message 2: by Joi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3822 comments Went to add this onto my TBR-and it was already there!

Sounds interesting.

message 3: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6186 comments Bohjalian is one of those authors who I always mean to read and then never do.

One of my nieces is very involved in helping those who have been slaves through sex traffickers or other industries.

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