This is an amazing account of a very brave little girl who defies the system she was born into and divorces the man who continually rapes and beats her. Her family included many children and a father with two wives who never quite made enough to support them all. He agrees to Nujood's arranged marriage to a man three times her age. Although one of the conditions of that marriage was no consummation until a year after she gets her period, her new husband has sex with her immediately.
It is so difficult to comprehend the lives that women live in many of these countries, but this book helped me to see that there are many good men who step up and help these women. In this case several judges came to her rescue, as did attorney Shada Nasser. Not only did Ms. Nasser stand by young Nujood, she became a role model as to what women in the area can accomplish. As one can imagine, going against your parents, husband and Sharia law is not easy, and Nujood is one brave young woman.
The book is both troubling and inspiring, and it allows us to peek into the windows of a society that is totally different than the one with which we are familiar. It is difficult to read of her plight objectively, and I had to keep reminding myself that our local customs might seem strange to those from another country. Keeping that in mind did nothing to change the fact that what happened to this 10 year old was criminal.
This book is a short one, and Nujood's age and meager education is offset by the easy to read style of her co-author, Delphine Minoui. I think it is important for us to take a peek into other cultures and recommend this as a good way to do so.
Publisher - Random House LLC
Date of Publication - March 2, 2010