Stolen Woman by Kimberly Rae
Stollen series, Book 1
Copyright 2011 by Kimberly Rae
Published January 2012, South Carolina, USA
Asha knew nothing about it before meeting 16-year-old Rani, stolen from her home and sold into sexual slavery in Kolkata, India. Asha must help this girl escape, but Mark, a third-generation missionary, keeps warning her away from the red-light district and its workers. Will she ever discover why? And will they ever stop their intense arguments long enough to admit their even more intense feelings for one another?
When Asha sneaks out one last time in a desperate attempt to rescue her friend, someone follows her through the night. Is freedom possible? Or will she, too, be taken?
Kimberly Rae has lived in Bangladesh, Uganda, Kosovo, and Indonesia. She now writes from her home in Lenoir, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and two young children. She has been published over 100 times in Christian books, magazines, and periodicals.
Stolen Woman is her debut novel. Number 2 in the series, Stolen Child, is now available.
In her debut novel, Rae, leads readers through the bustling marketplace, among the open-air vendors and the ever-present beggars, and into the nefarious slime pit of human trafficking: the red-light district of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), India. Yet at the heart of suffering, degradation, and corruption, Rae skillfully weaves a story of love and faith. Among the hopeless there is Hope.
I was hooked early in the prologue. Heavy with mystery and intrigue, it flashes forward, hinting at the climax, and stands in sharp contrast to the first few chapters, which are blithe by comparison.
The main character, Asha, leaves her North Carolina home to serve as a summer missionary at an orphan compound in Kolkata. Asha's especially excited at the summer's prospects since she was born in nearby Bangladesh, and many Bangladeshis live in Kolkata. Given up for adoption at birth and adopted by a loving family in the U.S., she wants to know more about her native land.
At the compound, she quickly comes to love the orphans and the staff, with one exception: Mark Stephens, whose grandparents founded the mission. Mark, who is assigned as her mentor, counters her at every turn, or so it seems to Asha. One moment they're friends; the next, they're butting heads.
When Asha goes wandering and gets lost in the red-light district, she encounters a young prostitute named Rani. Asha believes God wants her to rescue Rani, but when Mark learns of her plans, he orders her to forget it. It's obvious he's hiding something. But what? And he's not the only one. Why do the other missionaries become upset when they learn of her desire to help Rani escape sexual slavery? Mark tells Asha there are things she doesn't know, doesn't understand, things he can't disclose. Yet.
Stolen Woman deals with an ugly subject, one we'd rather not think about, one we've neglected far too long. When a light is turned on in a dark room, every corner is flooded with light. With this novel, Rae is flipping the switch to "on." At the back of the book, she provides a way readers can become proactive in helping to rescue women and girls like Rani through Women at Risk International (W.A.R.).
Coming next week, an interview with Stolen Woman author Kimberly Rae.
Because of Christ,