Print Edition: March 12, 2014
This book is a must read for both female and male readers.
I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced was published in 2010. In today’s world of fast-paced technology, four years ago is old news. But children’s rights around the world, especially pertaining to girls, are a social justice issue that has yet to be resolved.
And Nujood’s memoir is a voice well worth listening to.
Although I’d much rather you read the book then read my lame summary, in short, the memoir captures Nujood’s childhood. It moves from innocence and games of hide and seek to being married off at the age of 10 and being sexually, physically, and verbally abused at the hands of her husband. Despite being born in a village in which “women are not taught how to make choices,” Nujood Ali makes the brave decision to run away from her abuser, and fights for her pleas for a divorce to be heard.
The first-person narrative is straightforward and fast-paced. The memoir is only 176 pages, and every page makes an impact. To a certain degree, I find that Ali is succinct with her descriptions, yet she is able to paint a picture in the reader’s mind without going out of her way to give lengthy descriptions.
For example, when she talks about the first night of her rape, she says enough that I as a reader am disgusted and horrified at what had happened, but she also knows she doesn’t need to be overzealous with the details to connect with readers.
This memoir is the perfect book to compliment International Women’s Day: it represents the purpose of the day in its entirety. International Women’s Day is not only a day to remind us that females all around the world still face injustices and inequality, but it also celebrates the great strides females have made.
This novel reveals that Ali’s story is not an isolated incident and that young girls are still subjected to arranged marriage against their will.
On the other hand, throughout her memoir her words ring with a note of hope, and by the end of the book readers can rejoice in celebration with Ali as she is granted a divorce, and is now able to go back to school. She is the youngest divorcee in history and has inspired other young girls in the Middle East that change is possible.