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Short Synopsis
From the bestselling author of Cut comes the powerful, ultimately triumphant story of a thirteen-year-old girl who is forced from her mountain home and sold into prostitution.

Full Synopsis
Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut on a mountain in Nepal. Though she is desperately poor, her life is full of simple pleasures, like playing hopscotch with her best friend from school and having her mother brush her hair by the light of an oil lamp. But when the harsh Himalayan monsoons wash away all that remains of the family's crops, Lakshmi's stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family.

He introduces her to a glamorous stranger who tells her she will find her a job as a maid in the city. Glad to be able to help, Lakshmi journeys to India and arrives at "Happiness House" full of hope.  But she soon learns the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution.

An old woman named Mumtaz rules the brothel with cruelty and cunning.  She tells Lakshmi that she is trapped there until she can pay off her family's debt—then cheats Lakshmi of her meager earnings so that she can never leave.

Lakshmi's life becomes a nightmare from which she cannot escape.  Still, she lives by her mother's words—Simply to endure is to triumph—and gradually, she forms friendships with the other girls that enable her to survive in this terrifying new world.  Then the day comes when she must make a decision—will she risk everything for a chance to reclaim her life?

Written in spare and evocative vignettes, this powerful novel renders a world that is as unimaginable as it is real, and a girl who not only survives but triumphs.

"Justine Eyre's narration is so fantastic.…She brings this realism and feeling to Lakshmi's voice through all the awful things she goes through." ---MissSusie's Reading & Observations

"Raw, bitter, honest, and unnerving, the story comes to life in a vivid and personal performance by Justine Eyre. With a pitch-perfect tone that is as unrelenting as the story, Eyre delivers a stellar performance that embodies the main character's quest in the utmost detail." ---AudioFile

"Hard-hitting . . . poignant. The author beautifully balances the harshness of brothel life with the poignant relationships among its residents." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"An unforgettable account of sexual slavery as it exists now." ---Booklist Starred Review

"Hearbreaking. . . . McCormick's research for this novel involved interviewing women in Nepal and India, and her depth of detail makes the characters believable and their misery palpable. This important book was written in their honor." ---School Library Journal

"The writing is breathtaking in both its simplicity and attention to detail . . . stunning . . . this novel is not to be missed." ---Voya

"Eyre's rhythmic cadence soon mesmerizes listeners as she carefully modulates her tones to reveal Lakshmi's first-person story, revealed in prose and free verse. . . .This audio will appeal to teens interested in global problems
and solutions. ---Booklist Audio Review
AudioFile Earphones Award Winner



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Author Patricia McCormick

Narrated by Justine Eyre

Publication date Nov 26, 2012

Running time 4 hrs

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