I usually avoid reading autobiographies, well, not consciously, but I really don't read them very often and mostly don't like them very much, sometimes due to the lack of writing skills, sometimes because they are implying that you should just do what they did and everything will be fine or they are shouting "Look what a terrible life I had".
But the one I read this week was an exception. It will be available in about six weeks, but I got an ARC from NetGalley.
I wish it was just a novel, but it's very real.
Sexual child abuse, teenage runaways, human trafficking, drug abuse, heroin addiction, imprisonment, marriage with an alcoholic, divorce, cancer - the list is long and disturbing.
But this courageous well-written autobiography isn't trying to shock by graphic descriptions nor does it seek pitty.
It is written with a purpose, it is part of Barbara Amayas fight against human trafficking.
Maybe it isn't as intense and thrilling as some novels about the same issue, but to know that it isn't fiction makes a difference.
Of course I knew that all these things exist. It's no secret that society isn't as it should be.
The fact that it took her decades to understand that she was only the victim was astonishing for me.
Now I have a better understanding of the bond between the victims and the traffickers.
I appreciate that instead of complaining and blaming her parents, her pimp, the customers, the system or the society as a whole she is giving helpful advice to parents, to teachers, to law enforcement, to doctors and nurses, to young adults and of course to victims.
An enlightening important book that doesn't stop at the tragedy but shows that there is hope.