A Girl in Traffick by Mamta Jain Valderrama (Review by Sharon Poon)

Rating: 4/5*

‘A Girl in Traffick’ is an engrossing book. I read it quickly within a few days, and I thought about the story when I wasn’t reading it.

The story is told from two perspectives: Juhi who lost her dad to organ trafficking and Kevin who is an organ recipient.

It paints a poor but happy life for Juhi until she was orphaned at age 12 due to organ trafficking. It describes how she navigates through the perils in the slums of India and fends for herself just so she can stay alive. Her ability to read and write eventually led her to be sought after by India’s most powerful drug lord. Aside from the captivating plot, I also enjoyed the elaborate food descriptions in the streets of India.

Kevin is a US citizen desperate for a kidney transplant and heads to India to ‘purchase’ one. He has no clue about organ trafficking.

The story was fairly predictable but it was still an enjoyable read. It gave me an insight into the organ trafficking trade and raised many questions about the ethics of it. How do we value the lives of the poor versus the rich?  Can the buy and sale of organs ever be managed legally? Although it is easy to condemn the organ trafficking trade as Juhi does in the story; my question is, what would you do if it was you or your loved one who needs an organ transplant and you know you could ‘purchase’ one?

‘A Girl in Traffick’ would prompt interesting discussions for book clubs.

A Review by Sharon Poon.

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