Saturday, March 2, 2013

I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced

I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced
by Nujood Ali and Delphine Minoui

Genre: Memoir

Synopsis: “I’m a simple village girl who has always obeyed the orders of my father and brothers. Since forever, I have learned to say yes to everything. Today I have decided to say no.”
Forced by her father to marry a man three times her age, young Nujood Ali was sent away from her parents and beloved sisters and made to live with her husband and his family in an isolated village in rural Yemen. There she suffered daily from physical and emotional abuse by her mother-in-law and nightly at the rough hands of her spouse. Flouting his oath to wait to have sexual relations with Nujood until she was no longer a child, he took her virginity on their wedding night. She was only ten years old.

Unable to endure the pain and distress any longer, Nujood fled—not for home, but to the courthouse of the capital, paying for a taxi ride with a few precious coins of bread money. When a renowned Yemeni lawyer heard about the young victim, she took on Nujood’s case and fought the archaic system in a country where almost half the girls are married while still under the legal age. Since their unprecedented victory in April 2008, Nujood’s courageous defiance of both Yemeni customs and her own family has attracted a storm of international attention. Her story even incited change in Yemen and other Middle Eastern countries, where underage marriage laws are being increasingly enforced and other child brides have been granted divorces.

Recently honored alongside Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice as one of Glamour magazine’s women of the year, Nujood now tells her full story for the first time. As she guides us from the magical, fragrant streets of the Old City of Sana’a to the cement-block slums and rural villages of this ancient land, her unflinching look at an injustice suffered by all too many girls around the world is at once shocking, inspiring, and utterly unforgettable.

From the publisher

Becky's Review: Nujood's bravery is remarkable for a 10 year old.  How amazing she is that she journeys on her own to the courthouse to ask a judge for a divorce from her husband!  This story is simply written and is told by Nujood to Minoui.  At that time of Nujood's marriage, she was only literate enough to write her name.  Other reviews have a problem with this book because Minoui clearly added flowery language and that maybe it should have been written by her as a 3rd person memoir.  While that all may be true, I did not read the story as a critique of its writing style.  I read it for the compelling story which is so tragic but yet true in parts of the world.  It's an easy read, one that I read in a day.  I think it's a great story to read as it's eye opening.

Marcie's Review: I completely agree with Becky's review.  Certainly there were some flaws in the book, but I kept reminding myself that the author was a 10-year-old abused child.  My biggest complaint was that sometimes the voice of 10-year-old Nujood came through, and at other times, the voice of Minoui was obvious.  Becky said it was an easy read, and I would agree, except that the topic is disturbing and thought provoking.

Becky's Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Marcie's Rating: 3 1/2 stars

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