Monday, January 13, 2014

Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement

Prayers for the StolenI have two good things to say about this story. 1. The author can write. This is not one of those fifth-grade level writers. She has a strong, literary voice. It was almost poetic in its telling at times. 2. It transports you to a place in a country with situation you most likely never imagined.

But. That being said, while I appreciated the author's voice and skill and imagine she's a very intelligent person, her characters are dumb and unlikable. I didn't like any of them, not even the heroine, who once she leaves her horrid, alcoholic, verbally-abusive mother, just does the stupidest stuff imaginable. I'm not going to say what as it all happens too late in the story. But I was sitting here going, "For real? Are you really that dumb?" Uneducated doesn't have to mean stupid.

There were also some things that really bugged me, sometimes like discrepancies, others just unanswered questions. The beginning of the book said they had to look like boys. Well, then, why are they wearing pink shorts and dresses at times? While walking to school or something, no less. And all the men are gone? What did they do, all sneak out at the same time and run away to America? ALL of them? And if it's a well-known fact all the men go to America and never come back, why let them go in the first place? I didn't buy this. At all. If this is based on a true story, I'd have to see it to believe it. I'd sooner believe in aliens, I think.

Lastly, why the heck do these women stay in H*ll? Why stay in a town in which you get sprayed with poison, in which your daughters are abducted (Another thing: Why aren't the women afraid of being abducted?) These women can take a bus to the next city and work for rich people, so why not just get apartments or something there?

I hate unanswered questions and this ruined a lot of the story for me. I began to get frustrated with these people.

And--oh!!! WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE THE QUOTATION MARKS? I know I received an ARC, but really? There are no quotation marks around dialogue at all. Very irritating.

The back of this book promises a "hauntingly beautiful story of love and survival in rural Mexico..."

Where's the love? It ain't coming from her mother who just sits there hating on men and drinking and saying insulting things. It ain't coming from the gardener whom Ladydi thinks she loves at first sight but abandons her at the first sign of trouble. It ain't coming from the drug-dealing "brother" or the men flying helicopters overhead dumping poison. Where's the love?

As for can call it that. At least they eventually decide to stop being victims and do something about their situation, though it took them so long to decide that that I didn't have much pity for them. I don't have a problem with victims, but I do have a problem with victims who just sit there and allow themselves to be victims. Don't just sit there and complain; do something. 

Very depressing and frustrating tale for me.

I received this via Amazon Vine.

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