4 out of 5 stars
Share This Review
Petra is a 14-year-old girl who craves to feel as special as her elder sister and younger brother. One night, she overhears a conversation involving her parents and her aunt where they discuss how Petra needs to go out and socialize more with her peers. As a result of this, Petra joins the netball club at school on the following day. She does this just so she can seem normal and make her parents happy.
However, this decision of Petra’s, although it's made in good faith and with positive intentions, puts her directly in harm’s way when the teacher in charge of the school netball club, Mr. Ahmed, hooks up the underage Petra with a 28-year-old friend of his, called Marvin, a gaslighter who ends up grooming the naive teenager for sexual abuse and sets the ground for other grown men to abuse Petra, alongside arranging for her kidnap. The tale is about Petra’s struggles, her efforts to escape being trafficked, and the efforts by the police to trace and rescue her.
The author’s writing style was so engaging, the narration flowed effortlessly, and the chapters seamlessly transitioned from one to the next. The book’s beginning (its prologue and its first chapter) was memorable and enticing enough to capture my attention and suspenseful enough to keep me glued to the narrative until its end. The ending was just perfect.
What I appreciated the most about this narrative was its relevance to the world we live in today. Human trafficking and sex trafficking are ailments that still plague our world to this day, and I'm glad that the author, herself being a victim of one of the said vices, decided to highlight these issues through this bittersweet account of Petra’s life. As is common, most victims of sexual abuse refrain from speaking out and reporting their tormentors for fear of being stigmatized, in addition to them (the victims) feeling partly responsible for being abused. That's why I am grateful to Gloria for this book, as it gives others who may have undergone similar ordeals the courage to speak out and seek help.
Also worthy of note was the girls’ (Nancy, Chelsea, Roxie, Andie, Anthea, etc.) friendly disposition toward Petra. As human beings, we all need love and support to push us through life, especially during our low moments. So, my heart was warmed by the consolation, support, encouragement, and love that these ladies gave the troubled Petra when she needed that the most.
I must say some of Petra’s choices and actions left me disappointedly shaking my head, but it was understandable due to her young age and her naivety. This was not a flaw in relation to the story, just my two cents. The only thing I felt was missing was that perhaps the story should have included attempts by Petra’s parents to reach their daughter via mobile phone when she disappeared. This would have made the story seem more real-life. That being said, I relished reading this story, and I think there was nothing to dislike about the novel.
The editing of this book was unprofessional. I concluded this from the more than ten errors that I encountered while reading. I think an extra round of proofreading would do this book great good. My rating of The Price of Worthlessness by Gloria Eveleigh is four out of five stars, with the one star being deducted on account of the many typos and grammar errors.
This novel is best suited for any victims of sexual abuse or anyone feeling worthless; it will be a good reminder that no matter what it may seem, they are still worthy and are loved and cared for. Anybody who loves stories with good endings will also enjoy this story. A disclaimer is in order, though, for people who are affected by mentions of rape, as the book has several mentions and brief descriptions of this act.
The Price of Worthlessness
View: on Bookshelves