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10 thoughts on “Prayers for the Stolen

  1. Linda Linda says:

    This book literally found meIt was laying on its side left carelessly by someone on a library shelfthe cover with its poppy flower cactus and scorpion And I can still feel the sting of that crouched awaiting scorpionJennifer Clement places the story of Ladydi Garcia Martinez into your outstretched hands And the petals of that poppy flower drift slowly to your feet Life for females in the mountains of Guerrero Mexico is unimaginable We in our own worlds look for safety zonesthere are none in the villages here Never have been Never will be Young girls are disguised as young boys and must seek refuge in hiding holes dug in the distance to evade the SUV's of the Zeta The numbers of the stolen is staggering and the exact statistics may never be known Although this is a work of fiction the assault on humanity is very very realLadydi lives with her alcoholic mother in a dirt floor house taken over by the insects of the jungle The human insects of the drug cartels plant their fields of poppies harvested by kidnapped farmers There are no males left in this village Education is hit and miss Education is gleaned from the television's slant on life But Ladydi and her mother Rita scratch into the surface of an existence The resilience of Ladydi is what drives this story And Jennifer Clement allows you to feel her pulseLadydi breaks free and attempts a life in the once glamorous city of Acapulco The writer describes Ladydi's encounter with the gardener with the kiss of language The very next morning Julio the gardener walked through the front door and I fell in love He walked right into my body He climbed up my ribs and into me I thought to myself say a prayer for laddersI'm simply taken with Prayers for the Stolen And I'm simply taken with the raw rugged writing of Jennifer Clement You just need to knowyou just need to know


  2. Kelly (and the Book Boar) Kelly (and the Book Boar) says:

    Find all of my reviews at “Love is not a feeling It’s a sacrifice” Dear Jennifer Clement Which means she has officially found a fan in me After reading Gun Love earlier this year I knew it wouldn’t be long before I sought her out again When Prayers for the Stolen popped up as a recommendation on the library website I didn’t hesitate a second before clicking the “YES PLEASE” buttonThis is the story of Ladydi Garcia Martinez and the village she comes from “On our mountain only boys were born and some of them turned into girls around the age of eleven” What does that mean you may ask? “If I were a girl then I would be stolen All the drug traffickers had to do was hear that there was a pretty girl around and they’d sweep onto our lands in black Escalades and carry the girl off” In Prayers for the Stolen you hear about what happened to one of those girls as well as what happened to the women whose husbands left the village for work some who returned for visits some who sent money some who brought back “gifts” like AIDS and some who never returned at all – but most importantly you hear Ladydi’s story and what happened to her after a dead man was discovered in her village Authors tend to earn Stars from me by delivering fresh material or at least presenting a new spin on things Clement is now two for two I love how she writes a tale that focuses on a child – but is absolutely NOT something that would be considered a young adult book I have found both Clement novels that I have read to be 100% un put down able and at this point she has secured a place of honor for me amongst other grit litty types of writers


  3. Diane S ☔ Diane S ☔ says:

    When I read the sentence The best thing you can be in Mexico is an ugly girl I knew this book was going to be something special a heartbreaker and I was right on both countsLadydi and her mother Rita live in a mountain community in Guerrero Once a family community now there is not much left the men are gone Most to the United States where they find jobs sending money home for a while and then finding new lives abandoning their old When the hear the SUV's coming the girls hide in holes in the backyard so they are not stolen but sometimes they are too lateThis is the Mexico controlled by the drug cartels where women and children pretty girls are stolen for human trafficking or personal use by the leaders They remain because they have little choice little voice Ladydi is accepting of her life but uestioning of the things she hears and sees Her mother a heavy drinker is alternately critical and loving brisk rude and at times even endearing It would be easy because of the style of the writing which is so matter of fact and humorous even to dismiss this as a coming of age story But this is the life these people have to love to survive the best they can to make sense of a life with few options There is a horrible reality as the basis of this novel of forgotten women and children at the mercy of the cartels


  4. Margitte Margitte says:

    When books like these are written which I regard as documentary fiction it is always difficult to absorb the shock and pain of the people's lives in it Ladydi the young protagonist relates the story of the women and young girls living alone in the small mountain village of Guerrero Mexiko near Acapulco where there are no men and drug lords have long ago taken over the ruling of the country The men are either dead have migrated illegally to the USA or have been swallowed up by the drug trade an angry piece of land that once held a real community but was ruined by the criminal world of drug traffickers and the immigration to the United States Our angry piece of land was a broken constellation and each little home was ash Unprotected women and girls have no defense against rape abuse being stolen by the heavily armed men in the dark tinted four wheel drive vehicles or a government that do not care how these vulnerable people are abused by their own officials Unless they make themselves ugly and hide in holes in the ground they're lost and gone If they managed to survive like Ladydi's friend Paula she would forever look like she walked through the Milky Way where all the stars have burnt her bodyThe book could have been an excellent documentary since the background of the story is after all important than anything else the graphic and really stark conditions under which these women try to survive the poverty jail conditions cruelty of a mute society the hopelessness of their existence It is really so graphic that it becomes a stomach churning experience to follow the lives of the three surviving people Ladydi her mother and Maria The story line was weak since it was only necessary for building a tale of Mexico's forgotten or stolen people The characters were not the most important although they were compelling enough It was also swallowed up by the background 'noise'a little bit of word dumping going on of the 'documentary' However the prose was beautiful and gripping and the suspense was fast moving Only 240 pages makes this is compact gripping tale It is certainly a tale that must be told The information provided in this book is just overwhelmingly shocking There was a lot to learn from this book for sure For instance the presence of lions and tigers where drugs are produced and packaged; the role of prisons as safe havens for women; the girls who are taken and sold like rag dolls or given away as presentsWe have to know what is happening and why so many people would rather drown in rivers to reach the USA than remain in a country where lives are worth less than the kettle of vultures swirling above unidentified unclaimed bodies in the wild Between the insects and the narcos all rights to life have been divided eually Not even crumbs are left to the female population of this sad country I'll go for four stars to be fair In my humble opinion this was a documentary than a novel Only the characters were fictional A journalistic effort in fiction Perhaps too much reality and too little fiction Alas a merciful ending became possible when the love of a mother for her daughter finally broke through and hope rained down upon them like the shattered glass particles of the erupting volcanoThere are other excellent reviews of this book that might better convince you to read it Please read them And please listen to the voice of these young girls and women It might change you forever I wanted to cry My heart was completely ripped out


  5. Meike Meike says:

    Prayers for the Stolen is based on real events that happen every day in contemporary Mexico In the ongoing narco war girls and young women are stolen and sold off or kept by drug lords and their enforcers as slaves it is particularly dangerous for young women to try to cross the border to the United States where human traffickers lie in wait or to live in those Mexican states that are largely controlled by the cartels with the government being complicit One of these states is Guerrero where this novel's protagonist a girl named Ladydi grows up in a rural area near Acapulco In her village girls are made to appear ugly so the narcos won't take them nevertheless her friend Paula gets stolen but manages to come back to tell the tale and also Ladydi herself will become a little chess figure in the drug war Jennifer Clement the first woman to ever become President of PEN International grew up in Mexico and currently resides in Mexico City she knows what she's talking about as she herself witnessed the escalating narco war I have to admit that I liked her latest effort Gun Love better but that doesn't make Prayers for the Stolen a bad book Clement just always shows an incredible talent for creating scenes that border on the but aren't uite surreal She extracts the most absurd and bitter aspects of a problem be it gun culture or human trafficking and presents them in all their obscenity thus unsettling and disturbing her readers while at the same time writing in the most beautiful lyrical language and that's uite a feat in times in which society as a whole runs the risk to become dulled not only by the media but also by the sheer amount of time over which things continue to happen without anyone taking serious action This novel shines with its poetic treatment of a serious political issues and with its strong complex female characters If you'd excuse me now I'm off to purchase Widow Basuiat A Love Story because I definitely need to read Jennifer Clement


  6. Roxane Roxane says:

    The narrative voice is unforgettable We get such a vivid portrait of rural Mexico through the eyes of a young girl Ladydi whose mother tries as all the mothers do to make her daughter ugly so the narcos don't take her The chronology in the novel was hard to follow and I kept wanting robustness from the plot This feels like connected vignettes That said this is one hell of a novel


  7. Petra Petra says:

    Ladydi's story of her life growing up in the mountains of Guerrero Mexico The writing tells a chilling story in a uiet way that spares nothing The story is rich in fear and poverty told with innocence and awareness Ladydi is the perfect character to tell such a story Throughout I was reminded of 2666 Missing girls murder fear helplessness it's a story that people live each and every day in small villages throughout Mexico The Cartels have the power the people don't So many unknowns; so many mysteriesJennifer Clement wrote a warm chilling touching human story


  8. Emma Deplores it-ural.pro Censorship Emma Deplores it-ural.pro Censorship says:

    This is a very short novel almost a novella written in a simple rather dreamy stream of consciousness style first person no uotation marks jumping around and speeding through events The subject is the plight of rural Mexicans particularly women and I phrase it that way because I get the sense the author was driven to write by the subject matter than the plot or characters Despite the brief page count the book includes the stories of many minor characters facing everything from kidnapping by drug traffickers to AIDS to nearly dying in an attempt to cross the borderAs for the plot the book follows its narrator Ladydi through her childhood in a mountain village nearly empty of men then as a teenager leaving the village and getting into trouble It’s an interesting story that I flew through full of adversity and of women helping one another None of the characters are three dimensional however; for instance apparently the most important trait of Ladydi’s best friend is that she had a cleft palate as a child Even though she has corrective surgery Clement can’t seem to stop talking about the fact that Maria once had a cleft palate whenever she appears The others have a bit personality but they still feel like representatives of tragedy and resilience or lack thereof than strong characters in their own rightNot a book I’d discourage people from reading but not one I expect to linger long in my mind I would be interested in finding a book by a Mexican author that tackles similar subjects and with space to develop the characters and their stories


  9. Anastasia Aisaysana Anastasia Aisaysana says:

    Having access to pre release books for review I often find myself in the untenable position of having to force myself through tortuous mediocre crudely written books There's a lot of appallingly bad writing out there cleverly disguised by misleading cover art; their publication based largely on overused cliches I feel resentful for the time I spend choking down uninspired poorly researched titles when there are authors who invest themselves literally for years in the development of a well written book Jennifer Clement's new title Prayers for the Stolen falls into the second category of higher achievementSet in a small rural mountain village in the state of Guerrero comprised of solely of women who like in their matriarchy exist in the almost absolute absence of males; survival is both grueling and violent This is not the Mexican paradise lavishly depicted in glossy tourist brochures but a place of hardship and brutality Following each birth daughters are celebrated and mourned simultaneously as each newborn is declared a son in the hope that they will be protected against trafficking by drug lords Their femininity striped of them at birth girls' gender is none the less apparent in the unified stance the all female community takes Its women walk in both unilateral solidarity and a wary suspicion of one another while maintaining a warm albeit aloof protectiveness Written with well researched thoroughness Prayers for the Stolen is savage in its detail Its primitive inhospitable landscape reinforces the blistering reality of the brutal cut throat oppression of day to day survival in the face of their ruthless jungle home The constant natural dangers of iguanas snakes and scorpions combined with the lack of access to medical care and the airborne spraying of toxic herbicides maintain only a minor threat in the shadow of a greater evil; the incontemplatively corrupt Mexican drug lords I cannot give this title enough stars If you buy one book this year put Prayers for the Stolen at the top of your list and plan on this gripping novel of female courage consuming your every thought well beyond its last pages A digital copy of this book was provided by the publisher for purposes of review


  10. Bettie Bettie says:

    Inspired by true stories this atmospheric drama follows 15 year old Ladydi Martinez in the mountain village of Guerrero Nr Acapulco Mexico where being a girl is a dangerous thing and mothers disguise them as sons hiding them in holes in the ground as the drugs cartels scourge the town looking for girls to stealMore Info A timely drama series as drug kingpin Joauin El Chapo Guzman has recently escaped a Mexican prison for the second time Guzman is considered by US authorities to be the most powerful drug trafficker in the world He is also cited as the 14th wealthiest person in the world This lyrical and atmospheric drama explores the effects of drug trafficking through the perspective of a teenage girl LadyDiWhy is LadyDi named so?MIKE Ladydi LadydiWhy did your mama name you after a dead princess?LADYDI Because she hated what that Prince Charles did to Diana She watched it on TV She loves any woman whose man has been unfaithful It's a special sisterhood of pain and hate Patron Saint of Betrayed Women 15 Mexican girls hide in holes to avoid being taken by drug cartels 25 LadyDi finds out about her father and best friend 35 LadyDi's mother drunk on beer and teuila mistakenly shoots her 45 Scared of the Cartels LadyDi leaves to work as a maid in Acapulco 55 LadyDi is in a Mexican jail for a crime she didn't commit14092015 The women disappearing without trace


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Prayers for the Stolen ❮Reading❯ ➹ Prayers for the Stolen Author Jennifer Clement – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk A haunting story of love and survival that introduces an unforgettable literary heroine Ladydi Garcia Martínez is fierce funny and smart She was born into a world where being a girl is a dangerous t A haunting story of love and survival that introduces an unforgettable literary heroine Ladydi Garcia Martínez is fierce funny and smart She was born into a world where being a girl is a dangerous thing In the mountains of Guerrero Mexico women must fend for themselves as their men have left to seek opportunities elsewhere Here in the shadow of the drug war bodies turn up on the outskirts of the village to be taken back to the earth by scorpions and snakes School is held sporadically when a volunteer can be coerced away from the Prayers for PDF/EPUB ² big city for a semester In Guerrero the drug lords are kings and mothers disguise their daughters as sons or when that fails they “make them ugly” – cropping their hair blackening their teeth anything to protect them from the rapacious grasp of the cartels And when the black SUVs roll through town Ladydi and her friends burrow into holes in their backyards like animals tucked safely out of sight While her mother waits in vain for her husband’s return Ladydi and her friends dream of a future that holds promise than mere survival finding humor solidarity and fun in the face of so much tragedy When Ladydi is offered work as a nanny for a wealthy family in Acapulco she seizes the chance and finds her first taste of love with a young caretaker there But when a local murder tied to the cartel implicates a friend Ladydi’s future takes a dark turn Despite the odds against her this spirited heroine’s resilience and resolve bring hope to otherwise heartbreaking conditions An illuminating and affecting portrait of women in rural Mexico and a stunning exploration of the hidden conseuences of an unjust war PRAYERS FOR THE STOLEN is an unforgettable story of friendship family and determination.

  • Hardcover
  • 212 pages
  • Prayers for the Stolen
  • Jennifer Clement
  • English
  • 19 December 2015
  • 9780804138789

About the Author: Jennifer Clement

Jennifer Clement is the President of PEN International and the first woman to be elected since the organization was founded in Clement grew up in Mexico City Mexico She studied English Literature and Anthropology at New York University and also studied French Literature in Paris France She has an MFA from the University of Southern MaineFrom to Clement was president of PEN Me.