Note: This is a repost of my original post from my old site 18 things before.
Girl Detached by Manuela Salvi
Aleksandra has issues with her voice. Stress makes her stutter, and her life is one of stress. She can only speak clearly on stage, freed by the words of the character she plays. Then, when Aleksandra befriends her new neighbour Megan, and through her meets charming, handsome Ruben, it seems she has discovered a doorway into a different world, and a different Alek. But Ruben wants Aleksandra to play a particular role for him, and it is one that will come close to destroying her.
At first I was unsure what to expect with Girl Detached after being told it was about prostitution as I’ve never read anything like it before. I was also very intrigued after being told it had been banned in Italy. This hooked me almost right away and I hadn’t even read a word!
We meet the voice of the story – Aleksandra – and straight away are told her story and begin to develop a liking for her. As a vulnerable young woman buried in confusion and loneliness she captivates the reader to want to protect her through the pages. It was uncomfortable to think that Aleksandra and I are virtually the same age, yet she has gone through this horrible experience.
As the story progresses we see the way Aleksandra and the world of prostitution entwine and slowly destroy her life bit by bit. It was heart wrenching to see her get obliviously closer and closer to danger. A lot of times, I found myself wanting to scream at the book to warn her and to give her some advice. Her shielded upbringing meant she was blinded from things many might assume as obvious.
It was eye-opening to see a world we only hear about the way the media wants us too. Having read this, I realise that I have myself been shielded (or possibly censored) from the nitty, gritty truths about women in prostitution. It was shocking and at times difficult to read but it was an important read. I want to applaud the author Manuela Salvi for overcoming the (in my opinion) idiotic censorship of this novel to bring its important and eye-opening story to those everywhere. This book is astonishing and I encourage everyone to read it. Let your mind be opened by this gritty, honest read.
Disclaimer: I was lucky enough to be given this book as a proof at YALC for free however that has had no effect on my opinion.