I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced is one of those books that you start reading, hoping that it’s a work of fiction. With each page you turn, your mind completely refuses to accept that this actually happened. It is unfathomable to imagine a 10 year old getting married. I mean, who the hell marries a 10 year old? Sadly, this is not fiction.
This is Nujood Ali’s story. She was born and raised in Yemen. Nujood comes from a polygamous family and her mother has 16 children. She has no birth certificate and her mother can’t recall her exact date of birth. Her stepmother had 5 children. It is the family tradition to have the girls married off as soon as they hit puberty. Young brides are common in Yemen. However, in Nujood’s case, she was married off at only 10 years old. I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced is a horrifying story. When reading the book, I thought it was an old memoir. Surely, such a practice must have been archaic. However, this actually happened in 2008.
Nujood suffers at the hands of her husband and in-laws. Her wedding night marks the beginning of sexual abuse by the older man who married her. It’s heartbreaking to read about her nightmarish experience. Her husband(at the encouragement of his mother) tries to beat her into her submission. She lives like a slave, locked up so that she doesn’t run away from her matrimonial home.
She finally caught a break up and ran away to the courthouse where she managed to file for divorce. Nujood Ali was the youngest divorcee that the world in 2008. However, her story led to other divorces as young brides started fighting for their rights. In addition, through her story, the world learned about Yemen’s arranged child marriages where many girls are married before the age of puberty.
I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali and Delphine Minoui is a heartrending story. However, it is also quite inspiring. Nujood is wise beyond her years and her bravery is to be admired. I highly recommend this memoir.
About the Book
Title: I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced
Authors: Nujood Ali and Delphine Minoui
Rating: 4 of 5