When my friend April said she had a great book for me to read, I was excited. Would it be witty and wry? Tense and thrilling? Neither. It's the real-life story of crimes against women throughout the world, including honor killings and sexual trafficking.
Hmmmm....has Dave Barry written anything lately? But April was insistent so I gave it a go. It is truly a shock to realize that slavery still exists today, usually in the form of forced prostitution. The authors interviewed girls who were lured from their families with the promise of jobs in the big city, then forced into prostitution. In other parts of the world, women who speak out risk having acid thrown in their faces. I could go on and on (and the book does).
But the thing that makes me recommend this book to you, as April said, is the message of hope that pervades each chapter. The number one idea stressed over and over is that educating women will help stop violence against women. Educated women are more confident, and a society where women contribute is one where women wield some of the power. Women who are educated can help support their families, so their little sisters don't have to go looking for work. This brutality can be stopped, at the grassroots level, if we all pitch in, and the book outlines many specific ways we can help.
Rating: Life-changing. I so admire the way the authors were able to write about such tragedy and leave the reader with a sense of hope. I guess that's why they won the Pulitzer.
p.s. If you only support charities that Ashton believes in (doesn't that apply to most of us?), this is the one for you.