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Meisje by Edna O'Brien
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"I was a girl once, but not any more." So begins Edna O'Brien's harrowing portrayal of the young women abducted by Boko Haram. Set in the deep countryside of northeast Nigeria, this is a brutal story of incarceration, horror, and hunger; a hair-raising escape into the manifold terrors of the forest; and a descent into the labyrinthine bureaucracy and hostility awaiting a victim who returns home with a child blighted by enemy blood. From one of the century's greatest living authors, Girl is an unforgettable story of one victim's astonishing survival, and her unflinching faith in the redemption of the human heart.… (more)
Member:jankaldenbach
Title:Meisje
Authors:Edna O'Brien
Other authors:Lucie Schaap, Maaike Bijnsdorp
Info:Amsterdam De Bezige Bij 2019
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

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Girl by Edna O'Brien

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English (8)  French (1)  All languages (9)
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Captors take Maryam and several friends from their schools to the jungle wilds where the men rape the girls and force them to convert to Islam. Maryam becomes pregnant, giving birth to Babby. When opportunity presents itself in the form of camp bombing, Maryam flees with Babby, eventually returning to her prior home. The author depicts the violence and sympathizes with the girls, but she also presents Maryam as someone with the strength and courage to overcome. In the end, Maryam and Babby find a new life. The novel arose from interviews of survivors of the 2014 Boko Haram kidnappings. Although short, the novel's subject matter makes reading difficult due to the situation's horrors. ( )
  thornton37814 | Oct 2, 2020 |
Girl by Edna O’Brien is a story about the 2014 kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls by the jihadist group Boko Haram. Reading this novel is like taking a punch to the gut, the horrors that were inflicted up these girls are both disturbing and shocking to read about.

Maryam and her friends are taken in the night from their school. They are brought deep into the jungle and there they are repeatedly raped and forced to convert to Islam, the religion of their captors. Given in marriage to one of the terrorists, Maryam, still a child herself, gives birth to a baby girl. When their camp is bombed, Maryam, her baby and a friend flee. She eventually finds her way back home, only to find that many things have changed.

Girl depicts the absolute brutality that was forced upon these girls. The novel moves along at a fairly rapid pace ensuring the reader feels a sense of urgency and tension. While the author does not shy away from the harsh reality of living in a war-ravaged country, she also leaves Maryam and the reader with a feeling of hope and resilience. Girl is not an easy read due to it’s heart-breaking subject matter but it is a compelling and truthful story that the author compiled from interviews she had with some of the survivors. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Aug 20, 2020 |
Reminded me of Room, in that the psychiatric treatment of ‘afterwards’ is given too much precedence. Interesting for the author, perhaps, but not the reader in my case. ( )
  alexrichman | Apr 13, 2020 |
It’s a big time of year for stacking tomes by the bedside but I found myself at the airport in need of a book and plumped for Girl (Faber) by Edna O’Brien. Her wonderful writing and harrowing story is a powerful combination. The central character is a girl in Nigeria who is kidnapped by jihadist fighters and struggles against brutal events and conflicting emotions. Given values are questioned by what becomes normality, and this is definitely a book that stays with you after completion. ( )
  davidroche | Mar 5, 2020 |
Remarkable for the attempt as much as for the execution. May we all be this clear-sighted and confident about our work when we're in our eighties. ( )
  poingu | Feb 22, 2020 |
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"I was a girl once, but not any more." So begins Edna O'Brien's harrowing portrayal of the young women abducted by Boko Haram. Set in the deep countryside of northeast Nigeria, this is a brutal story of incarceration, horror, and hunger; a hair-raising escape into the manifold terrors of the forest; and a descent into the labyrinthine bureaucracy and hostility awaiting a victim who returns home with a child blighted by enemy blood. From one of the century's greatest living authors, Girl is an unforgettable story of one victim's astonishing survival, and her unflinching faith in the redemption of the human heart.

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