Sold is an account of a young Nepalese girl, Lakshmi who is sold into the sex trade in India by her family for the sole reason – Money. Patricia McCormick writes the book with great sensitivity and at the same does not let go of the bigger picture. The book is told through the eyes of Lakshmi – a thirteen year old, her beliefs (if any), her thoughts and her emotional sense of being, on understanding what she has been sold into.
Sold is written in free verse form and that is what makes it even more heartbreaking, because it is the sad poetry of life that comes through the pages. I had thought I had read enough already about the sex trade in India; however I was proved wrong after reading Sold.
The horrors of the flesh trade come alive in this book and that is most disturbing. As humans, we think we can handle almost everything, well certainly not a thirteen year old talking about how she was drugged and made to sleep with strangers.
I don’t know if this book can be recommended for young adults, and at the same time considering what they watch and see anyway, I guess they can read this book. McCormick’s writing is stark and raw. She doesn’t mince her words and one is not expected to while writing about a topic this sensitive. The story is heartbreaking and yet sometimes uplifting as Lakshmi shows courage to maintain her identity and survive her ordeal.
Such stories stay on and linger with you, even if you cannot do anything about the situation. We will never know what it is to live like Lakshmi did. The empathy will never be lost, hopefully. The book definitely widens the scope of what we know and what we chose to ignore and for that reason alone, I urge you to read this book.