I had no idea what to expect when I picked up this book. The first chapter gripped me in a whirlwind of feelings: interest, suspense, disgust, and anger. I have zero tolerance for someone forcing their will on others unless the other party gives her permission to do so. However, the main character in Girl Trade is surprised and a bit horrified to discover how sexually responsive her body is to the abuse of a heavy-handed Arab.
At the beginning of the tale, the main character has a great job in London and loads of friends. Now single she decides to go on holiday to figure out what she wants out of life. While on the beach, sunning in the nude, on an impulse she swims to another island where she’s captured and forced by Arabs to do degrading things right there. What the Arab does to her is appalling, but the brilliance of Chloe’s writing and her crafty way of allowing us as readers to be inside the main character’s head dulled the hatred I felt toward this man.
Girl Trade is about self-discovery in a horrid situation. I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone because of the obscene, sadomasochistic scenes that play out in the story. However, the deep psychology that bleeds through each page is raw and unyielding, only a person with a deep insight into humanity can write such a tale. The story is well-written, poetic, and stitched together by a rare artist of our time, who not only knows how to weave a compelling story but is insightful—a thinker, like Ralph Waldo Emerson. Her books should be mandatory to read in college—especially if you’re majoring in psychology or something along those lines. Students should have to write a report on it and group discussions should follow. Chloe is that good. If you’re not a bubble-head, you’ll appreciate her style. You’ll get the metaphors, the underlining meanings, and the unapologetic truths regarding our human nature, to where you’ll be driven to read her other books and become a fan for life.