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I received this book for free from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
“Vanity’s a debilitating affliction. You’re so absorbed in yourself it’s impossible to love anyone other than oneself, leaving you weak without realization of it. It’s quite sad. You’ve no idea what you’re missing either. You will never know real love and your life will pass you by.”
A jaw dropping and heart wrenching story of strength, courage, and personal growth of epic proportions. I was humbled by this book.
Sophie Price is Vain. Vain because her parents, friends and society let her be and she took full advantage of it. She was bitter and predatorily cruel. On the outside, she had it all. She was beautiful. Her beauty was unparalleled. Her beauty could create weakness in others. And she knew it. She and her friends were among the social elite in our country; wealthiest of the wealthy. They had the best of everything for education to clothes and they didn’t appreciate any of it. Clubbing, parties, sex and drugs. Getting in trouble meant nothing when she had her own attorney on retainer. But being on top has its price and the worship and envy of other is fleeting. So when Sophie finds herself in court, she is shocked by the judge’s ruling.
As sentence for her most recent run-in with the law, Sophie is sent to Africa to Masego, a home for orphans. This is where she meets Digane. In this environment, Sophie is forced to act on the behalf of others and think of herself last. A foreign concept to say the least.
Digane, or Ian, as she called him, was a strong and good man. The kind of goodness that only comes from a devoted to giving of yourself. He is older than his years and not impressed one bit by Sophie… other than her obvious beauty. But in these conditions, that means so little.
“Fear, Sadness. They’re not weaknesses. They are overpowering, defining emotions. They make you human, Sophie.”
This story had me from the very start. I never skimmed or looked away. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. I felt like I was living through Sophie in every moment she experienced. And with what she was living through, it shredded me. Seeing the massacres through Sophie’s eyes made the reality of our world so real for me. I felt raw as I read the truth of those children’s fate. It’s one thing to read about it in the news… but this… ah!
“And what is there to be joyful about?” I asked honestly, thinking on the images of dead children curled into themselves at the village. Another burst of silent tears streamed down.
“Life, Sophie. They still live. They breathe, they love each other, they find joy in the world around them for no other reason than because they are children. They are resilient. They will always rise above. Always. It is a curious facet of the innocent young.”
I’m afraid to say too much. The story simply needs to be read. What I will say is that I bought and read, Greed, the second book in the series, as soon as I finished this one. I needed more.
5 HUGE STARS!!!! Bravo to this series!
Drink it with a strong Manhattan and prepare to read it from cover to cover in one sitting!