13 March 2009

The Blue Notebook; James A. Levine

The Blue Notebook The Blue Notebook by James A. Levine

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars

An incredibly difficult book to read, in the same way McCormick's Sold is difficult to read. Batuk is a young Indian woman, sole into prostitution by her father (for what reason, we're never told, but there's a hint of debts owed). Prior to that, she led a relatively happy life, albeit one tinged with a case of TB and an overactive imagination. During the TB recovery, she learns to read and write, and this forms the basis of much of the book.

The blue notebook is like a journal, written by Batuk in between rounds of "making sweet-cake" with customers. When she is again sold, this time to Bubba, she switches to using hotel paper to write on. Her role in the hotel is to help Bubba's son become ready to be a husband; unfortunately, he's a little premature in that area. Batuk is not as smart as she thinks she is, and it all goes very, very badly for her. Of course, as a prostitute, who would care about her?

One would like to believe that this is one person's grossly fabricated tale, but it left me feeling that all too often this type of thing actually happens.

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