Sunday Salon: Review of The Blue Notebook
One book of the two I wanted done has been read. It didn’t take me that long although I had a few interruptions and distractions in between. Hopefully I can get the other done so I can actually do two reviews in one day (which would be surprising for me. I’ve never done it before but we’ll never know!)
The Blue Notebook by James Levine is told in the point of view of Batuk, a young girl who has been sold into prostitution by her father. From then on, she works through several places, including the streets of Mumbai, then being bought from place to place where her final place ends up being in some sort of hotel.
It’s a hard read. Although being only two hundred pages, it is an account in extreme graphic detail of Batuk’s life after being sold by her father. She does not skimp away the grisly details that happens to her and how she is meant to please her clients. The only light hearted moments I get are when she shares a laugh with her friend Puneet and how they make fun of the “Hippopotamus”. I thought they were so cute together but, even that little bit of happiness fades as Batuk is passed on to another place to do her work.
My heart went out for Batuk. You see her innocence shatter and how she narrates the entire story you don’t hear much emotion, it’s almost as you can hear a flat voice through the diary entries. It’s a bleak and depressing read but it probably is a very realistic account of what happens out there to child prostitutes anywhere in the world.
There are only a few things I didn’t agree with in this book. I’m not for flowery poetry writing and mini stories and there’s a few parts of that in this story. I mostly skipped it by as I didn’t have much patience for that. I don’t really understand how you can be that literate when you’ve only learned to read and write at a missionary hospital but that’s just my opinion. Second, the ending was very vague. However, if you really think about it, no one in this world really cares where a prostitute ends up, therefore the ending shouldn’t matter. It’s very shocking, but it’s sadly true however, I would have liked to know where Batuk ended up. Also note, due to the graphic nature and content this is not for the squeamish. It didn’t bother me much, but there were parts where I cringed.
Overall a very sad and in depth look into the life of a child slave. It’ll make you feel for the millions of child slaves and helpless women out there suffering where they have no control over their lives and sadly, no where to turn to.
I give it a 7 out of 10.