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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 11 May 2009
i did enjoy this book but it took me a while to get into it, mainly because i think it was so far fetched, but maybe this is because i couldnt relate to any events within the book. I just cant comprehend how anyone could put up with that much punishment from their family and still want to be a part of it.

A lot of the book centres around ridiculous amounts of debts in which a knight in shining armour evenually pays off it sounds like something out of a jackie collins novel! I am not saying its untrue i just cant understand how a situation that bad could land on an innocent persons shoulders.

A good read and the beginning is a very good insight into another culture things that i wasnt aware of before.
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VINE VOICEon 1 January 2010
An amazing story of survival, all the more remarkable when you realise that these things are happening, not just in Pakistan, but in modern day Britain too.
Saira (name changed to protect her identity) was born into a Pakistani Muslim family living in Britain. Discipline was strict as she grew up and love was thin on the ground. Her mother worked all hours to cook and clean for her husband's family while working at their sweat shop manufacturing jeans and jackets. To the family, Saira's honour must be protected at all costs and her brothers were prepared to kill to keep her name pure.
When Saira met a young Pakistani man who loved her and she, him, she hoped that things might work out for the better, but the mere fact that she had been caught walking with him was enough for all the family's defences to close down and retribution was swift and harsh.
After an amazing escape from a life of hell, Saira returned to the family that had put her through all this - in spite of all, she needed the family, she simply couldn't survive as a separate unit.
As her parents got further and further into debt, chased constantly by loan sharks, she felt it her duty to rescue them. Every waking moment was used trying to rectify this debt and when she lost her job as a catering manager she had no choice but to resort to prostitution - for a family that had treated her so badly all her life.

The story was ghost written by Andrew Crofts and I was surprised to find that it was not particularly well written - at times, the narration didn't flow very well and it was a bit jerky.
5 stars for Saira Ahmed, only 4 stars for Andrew Crofts.
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on 20 April 2010
Just finished this. It started off as expected. Muslim males being dominant, very anti women, females in house treated very badly,no respect. So far,the stereotype of the muslim family coming to Britain, and behaving as if they are still in Pakistan.Even the arranged marriage back in Pakistan is predictable. The 'escape' I can accept too -BUT here is where I start to wonder if this girl has then gone on to invent a life,embelishs the story a bit, to sell a book on an otherwise very ordinary (albeit unpleasant) life. The prostitution, working in flats in other cities is a far cry from a lonely sheltered muslim girls life experience, of being terrified of the males in her own family, to taking men on as an escort! Also, a couple of things baffled me, halfway through her life as a working girl, she bought a nice house,got a mortgage, car etc-HOW!? What income did she declare to the Lender?? And her 'rich client' who just handed her £100.000 to pay her mothers debts off-then she moved away from him and married someone else! Bit far fetched to be believable. For me, just another 'jumping on the muslim lifestyle bandwagon' story -and I have read LOADS of believable books like this, with more substance.
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on 17 January 2010
Disgraced: Forced to Marry a Stranger, Betrayed by My Own Family, Sold My Body to Survive, This is My Story

A horrific tale of a British/Pakistani Muslim family caught between two cultures, the Britain they live in and the Pakistan of their family origin. Saira works hard, in the home helping her mother with housework, and outside to earn money to support her family, and to pay the debts run up by her brothers. When Saira meets and falls for a young man, also of Pakistani origin, and wants to marry him, her brothers are shocked that she has dishonoured herself by even meeting someone. They are quick to put a stop to this. Saira is quickly dispatched to Pakistan and married off to someone she has never met, who wants a British passport. The marriage is traumatic, and Saira eventually manages to escape. Surprisingly she returns to her family in England, and goes back to earning, by any means, enough to pay off family debts

This is a shocking story
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on 19 September 2010
Some readers may find the content borderline fictional. But let me tell you - as a muslim male in the UK, even I have heard and seen circumstances not too dis-similar to this one. The formula of a strict family environment, couple with traditional values and some sprinkeld on western influences is not a new one.

The book is a no holds barred account of a tragic life story. The narratve is engaging and the story unfolds well. Actually I would go so far as to say Id like to read a sequel or follow up just to see how the authoer has faired since.

A good read overall.
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on 26 March 2012
Iv just finished reading this book and found it a reasonably interesting read. Its not a very long book and i completed it in about 4 days, reading it about 2/3 hours per day.

Being a British Asian myself i could relate to it well. Nothing realy shocked me in the book as iv heard numerous real life stories like this, but it was still a good account from a female perspective.

For me however the book lost marks towards the end when Saira was in debt and a millionaire knight in shining armour simply cleared a six figure sum for her - via a bank transfer. Now maybe im looking in the wrong places but why do i never meet anyone like this? If anyone reading this review fancies clearing my mortgage balance, please message me! Then after clearing the debt Saira simply changed changed her mobile number and the knight could no longer contact her. A bit too far-fetched for my liking.

Overall an entertaining read, and provides a great insight for anyone wanting to know about a Pakistani girl's experience growing up in Britain and all of the issues that are not always obvious to others.
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on 22 April 2009
This was a fantastic read I couldnt put it down. It was a very realitic look into a young muslim girls life, This book had it all and i went through many emotions when reading it
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on 21 September 2008
This is an easy book to read once you start you can't put it down! It gives a good insight into how female Muslims can be treated. It is a must read if you work with children and families as it gives you a better understanding into Muslim family life.
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on 15 January 2010
I could not put this book down I read it in 2 days. Must read
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on 27 August 2009
This was a really intresting book to read i could not put it down, it gives you an insight on how people struggle and how they overcome there problems, I would recommend this book because i really enjoyed reading it.
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