Broken Wings tells the harrowing story of Butterfly, who is kidnapped and taken to a mountain village in which all the young women have left for the city. There, she is imprisoned and, later, raped in the cave home of the wifeless farmer who has bought her. These traumatic events and Butterfly’s fading hopes of escape are described in her own voice, revealing a spirited young woman struggling to adjust to her new life.
My take on it:
For a book that delves into how violent humans can be, in this case-kidnapping young girls and selling them off in rural areas where they are chained and forced to serve as wives, I’ll say that I do wish many more people would read it, with more heart and patience.
I believe we are now used to expression being all up in your face, telling it as it is, but Jia Pingwa’s writing style leaves it up to the reader, and this can have two reactions; first you are either frustrated at (the awkward names of characters) and ascertaining the emotions of the characters and so you give up and click on the 2-star rating or simply say you “DNF,” or second; you find yourself reading through to the end and wondering just how much circumstances broke Butterfly and why of all the names she had to get that, when it seemed like they always clipped her wings, degraded her—took her against her will and forced themselves on her?
So, it makes for an interesting approach to writing about human kidnapping and the trauma on families and how over the years China has grappled with this. It is also heartbreaking to know that this story was inspired by a true account and you only get a glimpse of this in the afterword.
Thank you Netgalley for the eARC.
Get a copy on: Amazon