Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex Slave by Sibel Hodge

Sibel Hodge should be applauded for tackling this difficult and emotive subject.  Trafficking is one of those things which everyone knows takes place but few people want to face.  This novella relates the experiences of Elena, a young woman who has been snatched from her village and taken into a life of sexual servitude.

Hodge avoids sensationalism and sentimentality by writing in a restrained and controlled style.  This serves to heighten the brutality and squalor of Elena’s new life.  Slowly but surely we experience a terrible atmosphere of claustrophobia, hopelessness and despair.  As a male reader, one of the most disturbing things is the collusion of the many men she comes into contact with, whether users of her sexual favours, taxi-drivers and even policemen.

I would have liked for the control and restraint in the writing to have been relieved at the height of the story as Elena’s heroism is in danger of getting a little lost in the objectivity of the prose.  I also thought that the character of Jamie would have benefited from a more in-depth analysis of his character and motivation.  However, I am aware that this may have removed the focus from the objective description of the dreadful life which Elena has been condemned to live.

This is an honest, tough and unremittingly recital of the inhumanity which some men descend to.  All is not hopeless, however, and this well-judged and nuanced book allows us to see that a glimpse of better things in the end.


About Martin Lake

Martin Lake lives in the French Riviera with his wife. After studying at the University of East Anglia he worked as a teacher, trainer and company director. A serious accident shattered his arm and meant that he had to rein back his work. He decided to concentrate on writing and is now writing full-time. He writes a wide range of fiction. His main interests are historical fiction, short stories and fiction for young adults. Martin has a series of novels 'The Lost King' which are set in the years following the Norman Invasion of England. They concern Edgar Atheling, last representative of the ancient English royal dynasty and his fight to regain the throne from William the Conqueror. Martin has also published 'Artful' the further adventures of the Dodger and 'Outcasts' a novel about fall of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. His latest novel, 'A Love Most Dangerous' is about a maid of honour who becomes the lover of Henry VIII. Martin’s work has been broadcast on radio. He won first prize in the Kenneth Grahame Society competition to write a story based on 'The Wind in the Willows.' You can get the collection, 'The Wind in the Willows Short Stories' from Amazon.
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5 Responses to Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex Slave by Sibel Hodge

  1. Interesting, thanks for that. I’m just finishing Kat Banyard’s Equality Illusion, which touches on some of these issues and features interviews with women in the sex trade

  2. sibelhodgeg says:

    Thanks so much for taking the time to review this! 🙂

  3. Pj Schott says:

    Love this book. And everything else Sibel Hodge writes. And I love the photo on this site. Lisbon?

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