Prayers for the Stolen
In the rural mountains of Mexico, the men have gone to work in America and the women and children are left to fend for themselves. Ladydi (yes, pronounced Lady Di) and her friends wear boys clothing, crop their hair short and cover their teeth with marker. They have holes dug in their backyards to hide when the SUVs roll through town, picking out the pretty girls who’re never seen again.
They hide from the drug lords, they run from the poison that rains down on them, meant for the fields of poppy but sent to the mountains instead. It’s too dangerous for doctors to venture to the village and teachers are few and far between. Their world is dark and evil, yet it’s all they know. The story could easily turn crass or become too depressing, but Clements writes eloquently and keeps the novel short – almost too short. Prayers for the Stolen offers a glimpse of an evil that exists today.
What we see of Ladydi’s life is shocking, though she seemed less surprised than I was at each turn of events. Read it – it’s eye opening!