The Blue Notebook
by James Levine
Here I am, once again, reviewing a book that half the bloggers in existence have already reviewed. I am feeling really uninspired and have such violent feelings for this book so I will make this short.
For a well written summary of the story you can go to Linus's Blanket. I will simply share my opinion about a few points. The writing is wonderfully done. Levine is successful at depicting the inner thoughts of a 15 year old prostitute in India. It felt like I was reading the diary of a real girl. She is both innocent and corrupted. I liked Batuk.
The book is written for a good cause. It shines a light, too painfully at times, on a terribly unjust and inhumane way of life for too many of India's orphaned/disposed children who are forced into prostitution with no hope of escape. This is a cause that deserves some acknowledgement. We cannot fix what we don't know is broken. Best of all:
"All of the U.S. proceeds from this novel will be donated to the International and National Centers for Missing and Exploited Children (http://www.icmec.org)."
BUT...there were several disturbing scenes in The Blue Notebook. The "situations" start off somewhat mild but they slowly become more graphic. By the end there is no detail withheld. I can take alot. I have a pretty strong constitution while I'm reading but this made me want to throw up. I went from hating it to appreciating the beauty of the writing to wanting to throw it away to wanting to help further the cause. But I cannot recommend this book without first letting you know what you are in for. There is alot of s*x and violence. There is also a beautiful and tarnished soul that lives within the covers of this novel that speaks for thousands of real children who cannot speak for themselves. Can you handle it?