This book is over due. Way over due. This book was one of only two non-baby books I read during my pregnancy in 2011. It was a gift from the publisher in exchange for a review, and I quickly plowed through it, mesmerized, then promptly got too sick to write the review. But I never forgot the book, because it was magnificent. An engaging and important work of non-fiction. Allow me to make amends.
You are transported to a world where some form of enslavement exists in myriad ways, vivid and awful, a landscape of abused young women. Naomi Zacharias takes you on a harsh journey of redemption as she tells the story of women surviving violence, imprisonment, and prostitution. Her dark portrayals of at-risk women and children are also hopeful because of the international initiative she helps run which is aimed at helping these vulnerable victims. You can't help but cheer these women on, all of them. The ones in ministry visiting run down orphanages, the women trying to escape human trafficking, the ones who fail and the ones who actually do make it and change their lives. Admiringly, it's not always about fixing people either. Zacharias writes:
I came to offer something, to fix something. Instead, a woman I had just met accepted me into her country and her life, kneeled down, and washed my feet.
The places in the book were very interesting to me. Iraq, Pakistan, India, the Netherlands, and places I'd never heard of before because who ever hears about the red light district of Mumbai? In every place the reader meets women and young victims, survivors and sisters. The story of Annie, a prostitute in Holland was most thought provoking to me as she was trafficked into a situation where, because of the legality of the sex trade, she was permanently enslaved. A stark reminder that just because something is legal, doesn't mean it is right or without horrifying repercussions. In fact, it sometimes makes it worse.
The book has relatable moments for every woman: The responsibility of each woman is to find the particularity of her calling...In this way, every life is ultimately an individual adventure of finding her place in God's plan. To surrender that is to surrender who you are.
I have a copy of this book to give away. Leave a comment if you would like to entered and I will draw a name in one week.