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An eye opening experience,
This review is from: Prayers for the Stolen (Hardcover)
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Ladydi is a young girl living in a town where being a girl is a curse. Pretty girls are stolen by the Cartel and the traffickers know exactly where to look. When the big black SUV's roll into town, Ladydi and her friend hide in holes dug in the ground and blacken their faces and teeth to make themselves look ugly.
And yet, Guerrero, Mexico is a town full of only women. The men have moved on to better opportunities and the women and girls live in the shadow of the drug cartels that own the mountains and the highways that connect the small town to the closest big town, Acapulco. But even among the ugliness around them, this novel manages to include humor among the pathos. Ladydi is an astute observer of the people around her - of her alcoholic mother, of the young teachers who appear sporadically to teach in their out of the way town and of the interconnected nature of the families on their mountain. There are childhood friendships here and the most chilling aspect of all this is how mundane and normal the violence and the threat of the Cartels is in her everyday life. The drug wars and the traffickers are by no means the center of Ladydi's life. She has the same concerns any young girl would have. An attractive teacher, the loyalty of her friends and a longing for her father's return. The horrors around her are narrated as a matter of fact without too much time to be wasted on mulling over them.
Even as she seems miraculously spared by most of the violence around LadyDi finds her life inextricably intertwined with a friend who is taken by the traffickers and yet manages to return. There are intricacies and loyalties she is unaware of and amid the seeming chaos she is a witness to terrible events.
This is a thought provoking and moving book. There are no tidy answers. If you like all the loose ends of a story nicely tied up by the end, this is not the book for you. While there are hints to the forces and the machinations that drive the story to its end, there is no clean ending here. However, the story is forceful, well written and moving. It is an unflinching portrayal of what drives so many illegal immigrants to the US border today and presents well a side of the story that many may be unaware of.