Genre: True Crime
Published: February 2021
My Rating: 🦋🦋🦋🦋/5
On the 27 May 2014, sixteen-year-old Padma and fourteen-year-old Lalli went missing. A few hours later, their bodies were found hanging from a tree in a mango orchard.No one knew what happened, but they knew that they had to get to the bottom of this horrific incident. As we learn about Padma, Lalli, their families and the village they lived in, we learn about the the circumstances surrounding their deaths and how it impacted the community.
I knew before I even started this book, that there would be so many talking points and it’s not easy to summarize such a detailed account surrounding this tragedy, but I will do my best.
“But the death of a child wasn’t a problem. It was a catastrophe. It could not be fixed, it could not be undone and it should not be forgotten.”
It’s true crime which has recently become a favourite genre of mine. It reads like a novel and is fast-paced with short chapters. It is a heavy read with triggers such as sexual assault and violence. There were so many times where I felt myself feeling angry and sad at the same time while reading this book. From the way women are treated, to the abysmal way the whole investigation was handled.
The girls were well-known around the village so when their bodies were found, even though this was not something new (Violence and killing of young girls and children). The community and families knew that they needed to take a stand somehow and get the attention of the government so that change could prevail.This definitely caught the attention of the media and politicians.
The amount of research that was done by Sonia was amazing with resources for each chapter at the end. I was so interested that I actually checked a few out. She went to Katra and interviewed some of the people on the book herself. This book really makes you think especially about stigma and the under reporting of rape and sexual assault which is something that happens all over the world and is not confined to one country.
Overall this was extremely eye-opening and informative and I would highly recommend this book!
Disclaimer: I was sent this free copy for review by Jonathan Ball Publishers. This does not influence my review or rating in any way. All views and opinions expressed are my own.