Although I reviewed Roberta Gately's The Bracelet back in November, the story has stuck with me. So I'm thrilled to bring you a guest post from the author of such an enthralling novel.
By Roberta Gately,
Author of The Bracelet
Author of The Bracelet
Though my most recent novel, The Bracelet, is, at its core, a story about human trafficking, I did not set out to tackle such a gritty topic. And, despite my aid worker background, I knew little about the hideous business of trafficking. What I did hope to accomplish was to capture the harsh life of so many women around the world, and I wanted to use my own experience with refugees as a starting point, for those facts are startling enough.
At any given time in the world, there are over forty two million refugees and displaced struggling to survive, to eke out just one more day. And even under ideal conditions, the life of a refugee is one of deprivation and loss where every single decision of daily life is controlled by someone else. What to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, where to live, how much water is allotted, how many blankets, and how large your tent are all chosen by someone else.
When I decided my casualty would be a refugee who'd been a victim more than once in her life, the natural choice was for her to have been a trafficking victim. As I began to research the business of trafficking, I was stunned by the global reach and the insidious transactions that have allowed trafficking to remain under the world's radar. And it is that secretive nature of trafficking that has allowed it to prosper and grow right under our not so watchful eyes.
I knew that I wanted to expose the miseries of trafficking, and The Bracelet allowed me to tell the stories of victims through the eyes of an American nurse, a young woman with whom we can all relate. I know too that trafficking is a difficult subject, but it is a reality for so many, and turning away will only allow it to flourish, and place so many more at risk.
The first step in eradicating the misery is recognizing the reality, and it is my hope that The Bracelet will serve as that first step.
© 2013 Roberta Gately, author of The Bracelet
Roberta Gately, author of The Bracelet, has served as a nurse and humanitarian aid worker in war zones ranging from Afghanistan to Africa, about which she wrote a series of articles for the BBC World News Online. She is also the author of the novel Lipstick in Afghanistan.