Thursday, February 27, 2014

Review: Prayers for the Stolen, Jennifer Clement

I heard that this book had been translated into many other languages even before its release in English  - apparently a remarkable happening but this is a remarkable book. Clement writes in the voice of a young girl who along with her peers, lives in a small Mexican village, where there are hardly any men but, more importantly, she and the others live in fear of being stolen. 

The opening chapters of the book set the scene for why this fear is a reality: this is powerful writing about complex characters whose lives are shaped by the drug trade, the climate and the sort of friendships that develop when life is hard. I hate spoilers in book reviews so suffice to say that the way Ladydi’s life is ‘stolen’ is different and the ‘turn of events’ means Clement widens her net to include in her story a diverse group of women with one thing in common: they have stolen lives.

A fascinating insight into the lives of women in that part of the world, it all felt very authentic –this is a novel of real lives in a ruthless environment that I’m glad I now know a little about it.    A very good read.

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