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Ladydi, named so after Lady Diana, stays in a dangerous place for women. In those mountains of Guerrero , Mexico, ‘only boys were born, and some of them turned into girls around the age of eleven.Then these boys had to turn into ugly girls who sometimes hide in holes in the ground’.
In a place where the menfolk left for the cities or crossed illegally into the US, women had to survive. With iguanas, scorpions, snakes, dust and predatory drug traffickers who wanted their daughters.
Jennifer tells a riveting tale. Of Ladydi and the beautiful Paula who is abducted and becomes child-like, drinking milk from an infant’s bottle and eating infant food. Of Ladydi’s alcoholic , bitter mother who watches TV the whole day and is constantly confronted with her philandering husband’s love child.
Ladydi moves to Acapulco because Mike, the only boy in her village gets her a job there. From finding love, to landing up in the jail on charges of being an accomplice in the murder of a drug trafficker’s daughter, Ladydi discovers herself, and what she truly holds dear.
In any conflict, or act of violence, it is the women and children who are the most vulnerable. For me, Prayers for the Stolen was an eye-opener on how the drug trade in Mexico has played havoc with the lives of women and girls. How a beauty parlor called ‘Illusions’ ended up making girls look like boys, and pretty girls ugly!
Yet, the spirit of the women is never failing, and they find fun, humour and grace in their tragic lives.
A nicely paced, well written book. Rating 4/5
Prayers for the Stolen
224 pages, Published by Hogarth
Available in print, and as an ebook on Amazon and other online stores, and in print in bookstores