Seriously, I have little to no words to describe this book. It’s not the most well-written piece in the world, but I’ll cut her some slack for being ripped from her native country of England at the young age of 16 and forced to speak another language for 8 years while she was beaten, raped, enslaved, and lied to, and as an added bonus, she got to watch her younger sister go through the same shit in the next town over.
See that run-on sentence? We can’t all write beautifully when we’re frazzled out of our minds. As of the writing of this book, Zana’s sister Nadia was still in Yemen. Part of Zana’s motivation for writing the book was to let people know what had happened to her and to raise enough awareness to get her sister out of there. Nadia has since returned to England with her children.
I don’t know what became of their father, the man responsible for selling them to two Yemeni families for 1300 pounds each. Toward the end of the book, when Zana is about to get a divorce from the man she was forced to marry, her father called, begging her not to leave Yemen. “I’ll be so ashamed, I’ll kill myself!” he said. The way their story was blowing up all over the world, I’m sure quite a few people would line up to help him out with that.
On a personal note, I read this a few months after a rather disconcerting conversation with my own father in which he repeatedly suggested that I require a husband and children to be happy, and I should change myself to accommodate this. Although he claimed his children are his greatest accomplishments, it was difficult for me to tell, since this was the first conversation we’d had since my grandmother (his mom) died. It sucks that he feels qualified to tell me what I should do when he has such an inactive role in my life. I’m happy already, and thankful every day for my comfortable home, stable job, unique side business, and fun activities. Yes, I’m sad my father can’t see that, but he never tricked me into going to Yemen so I could be abused by a miserable, impoverished family and forced into an arranged marriage.
So I got that goin’ for me… which is nice.