On Sale: September 15, 2006
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Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her
family in a small hut in a mountain village in Nepal. Her
life is made up of simple pleasures like going to school and
spending time with her loving ama and baby brother. But
these happy times are undercut by the desperate poverty that
threatens the lives of the villagers.
Then one day, Lakshmi's father brings her to a shopkeeper in
town and tells Lakshmi that she is going to go work as a
maid in India so that her wages can be sent home. Glad to
help support her family, Lakshmi undertakes the long journey
and arrives at "Happiness House" full of hope. But she soon
discovers the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into
An old woman named Mumtaz rules the house with an iron fist.
She informs Lakshmi that she is trapped there until she can
pay off her family's debt. And of course, crooked Mumtaz
will make sure that that never happens.
Lakshmi life becomes a nightmare from which she cannot
escape. But gradually, she forms friendships that enable her
to survive in this terrifying new world. Until the day comes
that she has to make a decision -- one that will cause her
to risk everything to for a chance to reclaim her life.
Written in spare and evocative vignettes, this powerful
novel chronicles the story of one girl's struggle to
maintain her sense of self against all odds.
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