Sold Book Review

5 out of 5 stars


Annalissa Houser

Caluctta’s red-light district of young girls being sold into a life of sexual slavery, this book tells the story of a young girls journey from her home in Nepal.  Written by Patricia McCormick, Sold tells the story of one girl, Lakshmi, and her journey from her loving mother in Nepal to the brutal “Happiness House” in India.

Lakshmi’s story begins with a small village in Nepal where she lives with her sweet mother, selfish stepfather, baby brother and her best friend, a black and white speckled goat. Her family is desperately poor, and when a monsoon wipes away all her family’s crops, her stepfather claims that she must go get a job to support her family. Lakshmi thinks that she is being sent to work as a maid for a  woman in India and is happy to go. As Lakshmi begins her travels to India, she soon realizes that she is not being sent to work as a maid, but that she has been sold into prostitution at the “Happiness House”.

Once arrived at the house, Lakshmi meets an old woman named Mumtaz who brutally rules the house. Lakshmi thinks that she will only be there until she can work off her family debt, and spends hours a day calculating how long it will take her to work off the debt. She forms friends and enemies at the house, but, more importantly she learns how to persist and fight back.

Sold is written in a different format than the majority of books seen today. The novel is broken into short poem like chapters, with paragraphs heavily spaced like stanzas. This is a very effective format for the reader because it allows you to get lost in the novel and get through the book quickly. Each section is simple to understand yet still written beautifully.

The book is filled with constant action and interest. Lakshmi is constantly catching on to new things and understanding more and more about the world she lives in. There is continually new characters coming in and out of the plot to keep the reader’s interest.

McCormick wrote Sold in order to help bring light to a world most often kept in the dark. Calcutta’s red-light district is often hidden from the press and international news. Most people have no idea what is happening to young girls in Nepal. I think that this book does a fantastic job of showcasing this issue through a fiction story based on true events. The plot of this book has never left my head since I put it down. Sold is sure to be a whirlwind of emotions for the reader. If you are interested in the topic or just looking for a good book, you will love this book.