synopsis: a young girl is married to a much older man and is later divorced
setting: modern-day sana’a
what i appreciated: nujood’s frankness, without being graphic. i also felt minoui kept her voice clear throughout the book, which is not an easy task. i also appreciated the glimpse into the culture of yemen at the time, which nujood explains as she goes along.
trigger warning: implied rape, abuse
final thoughts: this is a book i’ve seen on shelves for years and both wanted and not wanted to read. it reads easily, but the content is heavy. it also sheds light on an often overlooked part of the world (from where we americans are usually standing).
yemen, along with other parts of the arabian peninsula and the horn of africa, is in the middle of a famine, and while that was not true at the time of this book, it does a good job of showing the poverty and hardship many yemeni faced before the famine even began. in addition, yemen has been torn apart by war for some time, to the point now that some somali refugees who went there to escape the conflict in their nation are choosing voluntarily to return.
child marriage is never right. what nujood shows us in her story is the desperation to which many families are driven and serves as the primary motivator for them to sell their daughters off while they’re still so young. it is a reminder that standing as a formidable challenge against the eradication of child marriage anywhere – including the united states – are significant cultural differences. nujood, in choosing to stand against that, shows deep courage and conviction.