“prayers for the stolen” by jennifer clement
in “prayers for the stolen” some harsh realities are explored. young ladydi takes us through her perilous life living in a small, rural mountain village of guerrero, mexico. dangers and challenges to everyday survival are at every turn. young girls are stolen by the drug cartels everyday. the government drops poisonous chemicals meant for the poppy and marijuana fields anywhere because the drug farms are heavily defended. scorpions, snakes, and red fire ants roam free. the mountain is all women. the men have left to find work in the united states or have been lured into the drug world. the girls are made to look ugly and like boys so the drug traffickers won’t want them. there is no education. the teachers come only to get their social service credit and leave as soon as they can for fear of getting killed.
ladydi is our young heroine. she is smart and kind. she narrates her own story of growing up on that mountain, her unique relationship with her drunk and bitter mother, and her struggle to survive everyday life. ladydi, sadly, is indifferent to the cruelty and hardships she must endure. she accepts her brutal life as how things are instead of fixating on the injustice of it all.
a lot of the content chilled me to the bone. the horrible events that these women and girls face is hard to stomach. in the reading material following the story, i learned the author had interviewed many women with similar stories. although “prayers for the stolen” is fiction, it is inspired by truth. that is the most chilling fact of all. to read of the injustice as fiction is hard enough. to know that in some variation these cruel realities take place in the present, real world is heartbreaking. ladydi’s voice is poetic, yet haunting with its grim candor.
i received a copy of “prayers for the stolen” from blogging for books in exchange for this honest review.