I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement
Published by Crown Publishing on February 11, 2014
Genres: General Fiction
A haunting story of love and survival that introduces an unforgettable literary heroine
Ladydi Garcia Martínez is fierce, funny and smart. She was born into a world where being a girl is a dangerous thing. In the mountains of Guerrero, Mexico, women must fend for themselves, as their men have left to seek opportunities elsewhere. Here in the shadow of the drug war, bodies turn up on the outskirts of the village to be taken back to the earth by scorpions and snakes. School is held sporadically, when a volunteer can be coerced away from the big city for a semester. In Guerrero the drug lords are kings, and mothers disguise their daughters as sons, or when that fails they “make them ugly” – cropping their hair, blackening their teeth- anything to protect them from the rapacious grasp of the cartels. And when the black SUVs roll through town, Ladydi and her friends burrow into holes in their backyards like animals, tucked safely out of sight.
While her mother waits in vain for her husband’s return, Ladydi and her friends dream of a future that holds more promise than mere survival, finding humor, solidarity and fun in the face of so much tragedy. When Ladydi is offered work as a nanny for a wealthy family in Acapulco, she seizes the chance, and finds her first taste of love with a young caretaker there. But when a local murder tied to the cartel implicates a friend, Ladydi’s future takes a dark turn. Despite the odds against her, this spirited heroine’s resilience and resolve bring hope to otherwise heartbreaking conditions.
An illuminating and affecting portrait of women in rural Mexico, and a stunning exploration of the hidden consequences of an unjust war, PRAYERS FOR THE STOLEN is an unforgettable story of friendship, family, and determination.
Having gone to Mexico in the past the location of the novel is what first intrigued me, then it was the subject matter. The plot not only focused on the actual taking of a girl in the village but the aftermath and effect it had on those even years later which I found to be an interesting view.
The last quarter of the book was a twist for me. Despite the cover’s flap I was not expecting the bad luck that once again befalls her and thought it was well executed with well-developed characters and brings a fulfilling ending to not only Ladydi’s story but also her village’s.
Not Fond of:
Ladydi falls in love (oh no horrible right?) but I didn’t think her little fling added much to the story. He was in and out of the plot so quickly that I soon forgot about him like one forgets a name after a one night stand.
Partially due to the above but also in comparison to the beginning of Prayers for the Stolen which grabbed me in, but the middle, or the time where she was “employed” as a nanny was a little slow for me.
Prayers for the Stolen was a book I looked forward to going to bed a night knowing it would be on my bedside table. Ladydi, her mother, their hairdresser Ruth and numerous other persons in their small village were brought to life in vivid color for a moving, thoroughly enjoyable story.