Prayers for the Stolen

Clement, Jennifer

  9 Reviews

The odds are stacked against Ladydi Garcia Martinez, her young friends and their mothers who live in the mountains inland from Acapulco, along with the snakes, scorpions and the poppies. With their husbands and fathers having escaped across the border, the only men in their lives are the drug gangsters who arrive in their SUVs to steal the girls. Working on the premise that 'the best thing to be in Mexico is an ugly girl', Ladydi and her friends' survival depends on their efforts to disguise their gender.

Despite their plight, this is a darkly comic story of an unjust war, both profound and inspiring and with unforgettable characters. [Larger font]

Comments from Groups

We sat, looked at each other, and thought, "Aren't we lucky in our lives in rural NZ?!" It was confronting stuff for many in the group. So well written; and there was love and there was hope in spite of it all. Marlborough 001

An uncomfortable book to read, but it stimulated a lively discussion. Upper Hutt 007

This book needs to be read in small portions to digest the content, and to reflect on Mexico as a holiday destination...we don't think so!! Gisborne 005

We found this difficult - quite confronting and dark. Auckland 133

We enjoyed this book, and felt it was an easy read. While dealing with horrible things, it wasn't hard to read. We found it interesting and would recommend it to others. Motueka 004

We all loved the book, and it created an in-depth discussion around issues of poverty, crime, gender, drugs and relationships. Although there were times when you could have felt depressed reading the novel, it was written in such a way as to not affect you deeply, and a good humorous thread thread ran through the book. Waikanae 010

A great insight into Mexico, and the problems many face there. Nelson 061

A very well written book.The topic was pretty harrowing - trafficking in young girls, drugs, corruption and revenge. An insight into an area we knew little about. Timaru 004

We all thought it was a very worthwhile read. Although there were many awful events, and life was terrible for the 'pretty girls', the style of writing made it easy to read about drug growing, trading and the consequences. Auckland 039

Another high-scoring book. Well-written, describing the horrors of girlhood in Mexico and the terrible conditions in which they live. We admired the resilience and spirit of Ladydi. It is amazing that Rita, living in crime-filled Guerrero, watches documentaries about beauty and nature, while we who live in safe NZ seem to be enamoured of crime and murder TV series. Whakatane 008



ASHB 024
Traumatic read but very enlightening. Well-written.
AUCK 255
Most really enjoyed this book - it provided an interesting perspective of an unenviable life. Generated some good discussion on both the content and style of writing.
CHCH 337
We were all gobsmacked to realise how many girls were stolen in Mexico! A topic we didn't know much about, so enjoyed learning more, but so depressing to think of the corruption and how drugs "rule Mexico".
Challenging story to read, but well-written with engaging characters.
AUCK 240
Good for discussion. Short and evocative writing, with interesting content. Some felt it a bit shallow in its style of writing, but may be because written from a young person's perspective.
NELS 023
Our group rated this book highly and would recommend it to other groups. Although many were reluctant to use the word "enjoyed", because of the grim subject matter, we agreed the writing and touches of humour made it very readable. We were all enlightened about a subject we knew little of. Great discussion!
Top notch. Incredibly well-written covering "real life" happenings - novelized. Great discussion resulted.
Our group found 'Prayers for the Stolen' very readable, if not always enjoyable. We agreed with the reviewer, that it was 'modern tragedy brought to vivid life'. Most of us were ignorant of the corruption and exploitation of young women and girls in Mexico. Elements of humour prevented the material being too horrific. Quotes from the book added to a good group discussion.
AUCK 236
We all really liked this book. It's an easy read. The characters are very well drawn and the story is intriguing.