IRISH author Edna O’Brien offers a harrowing story based on true events that is set in an unnamed country that very much resembles Nigeria.
The story begins with armed men bursting into a girl’s dormitory claiming to be soldiers who are there to protect them. These men are in fact militants on the hunt for boys to force into their army and also supplies to sustain them.
When they can’t find either, they take the girls, and their nightmare begins.
The narrator Maryam herself is a victim of a heinous crime, and through her experiences and personal journey we learn of what befalls these girls, and the burden they will carry long afterwards, even if they have managed to survive their ordeal.
The book itself is not that thick (225 pages), but it will leave a huge impact. There is even a brief but deeply disturbing description of death by stoning.