Back in the 90’s, the corrupt post-Soviet Ukraine with its faltering economy, is thrown into a devastating depression. Times are hard. Opportunities are scarce.
Three young and eager sisters – Natalia, Lena and Julia - dream of a better life and weigh their options: do they stay and struggle like their parents, or join scores of their compatriots in the sex trade in glittering western European cities, who earn in a night what they’d take several months to earn at home? Naive and tempted by the allure of 'quick' money, the girls set off on an adventure that changes their lives forever...
Can they stay out of trouble enough to fulfill their ambitions?
Can they hold on to their idealism in a world where depravity and danger are constant companions?
How far are they willing to go to make a buck?
The events of this book are based on real life events and the book does read much more like an autobiography more than an entertaining fictional story. The events in the story are presented to the reader as one event after another with no real build up or story arc that occurs. The main character undergoes numerous hardships and challenges but there is no moment of climax, change, or epiphany for her. The story continues as one sad string of events that she has little choice over and few means to escape. The book does do an excellent job of painting the realities for a girl who finds herself in this position and that is what makes the book compelling. As a fictional piece of literature, this book would have been more entertaining with a definitive story arc.
The writing for this story was decent but most of it was related in a past tense which is not as engaging for the reader and makes you feel a bit less invested in the story. The author missed a few opportunities to engage the reader by failing to give enough detail for some portions of the story. Certain scenes could have benefited from more detail describing the events taking place or more on the internal struggle of the protagonist. The book overall only gives a fraction of understanding the main character's thoughts and feelings. These details would have created more sympathy for the protagonist as well as given us more character depth and development.
The best selling point of this book is the realism it incorporates into the story. It is a good read but could have been a bit more entertaining.