My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Having read Linda Smith’s other book (From Congress to the Brothel: a Journey of Hope, Healing, and Restoration) published through the nonprofit Shared Hope International, I knew I needed to read this book as well. Human trafficking of any kind is a heinous crime, so I knew that this was going to be a hard read as it deals in the realities of trafficking situations.
Unlike From Congress to the Brothel which focuses on Shared Hope’s efforts in India and other parts of southeast Asia, Renting Lacy brings the narrative of trafficking to the United States and focuses on domestic trafficking. Smith and her co-author Cindy Coloma present a fictional portrayal of domestic sex trafficking coupled with a nonfictional representation of the facts of sex trafficking. The nonfictional aspect of the book serves to underscore the fictional account.
You will read about pimps and how they target and prey upon vulnerable girls–most girls who are trafficked are ~12 years old. You will read about johns who justify their actions and think that “just this one time” isn’t going to hurt anyone. You will read about social workers, policemen, and others in the judicial system who are either jaded toward victims of trafficking or who are genuinely striving to end this epidemic. Finally, you will read about girls with street names like Lacy, Star, Sugar, and Cherry. These girls are the focus of this book and the reason why America needs to wake up to the existence of trafficking.
I want to emphasize again that this book is hard to read. You will be uncomfortable, even disgusted, by the content of this book, but that is exactly why you need to read it. Sex trafficking is a crime not against the body, but against the mind and the soul as well. This type of grievous abuse needs to end. Renting Lacy challenges its readers to act. You will find it hard not to once you’ve finished the book.
*Full disclosure: I received this book as a free copy, but I was under no obligation to review it.
Other places I’ve discussed human trafficking on this blog: Facebook, You’re Doing it Wrong and Facebook and Sex Trafficking: Bittersweet.