Forced marriage is a deeply unsettling and pervasive issue in many parts of the world, affecting countless individuals, predominantly young girls. Through the power of literature, authors have shed light on this harrowing reality, offering readers a glimpse into the lives of those affected. If you’re looking to gain a deeper understanding of this pressing social problem, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 best books on forced marriage that will take you on an emotional journey and leave you with a renewed sense of empathy and determination.
- 1 The Girl with the Louding Voice
- 2 A Thousand Splendid Suns
- 3 Sold
- 4 The Pearl That Broke Its Shell
- 5 The Color Purple
- 6 The Secret Daughter
- 7 The Underground Girls of Kabul
- 8 The Swallows of Kabul
- 9 The Runaway Wife
- 10 The Road to Home
- 11 The Price of Honor
- 12 The Perfect Wife
- 13 The Other Wife
- 14 The Lost Girls of Paris
- 15 The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State
- 16 The Girl Who Escaped ISIS: This Is My Story
- 17 The Girl from Aleppo: Nujeen’s Escape from War to Freedom
- 18 The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe
- 19 The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland
- 20 The Book of Unknown Americans
- 21 Conclusion
The Girl with the Louding Voice
by Abi Daré
‘The Girl with the Louding Voice’ is a captivating and eye-opening novel that delves into the harrowing world of forced marriage. Set in Nigeria, this powerful story follows the journey of Adunni, a young girl who dreams of obtaining an education and escaping the confines of her society’s expectations.
Adunni’s life takes a drastic turn when she is sold into marriage to an older man, forcing her to confront the cruel realities of a patriarchal society. Determined to find her voice and fight for her freedom, Adunni embarks on a courageous journey, challenging societal norms and breaking free from the chains of forced marriage.
Abi Daré’s writing is raw and authentic, painting a vivid picture of Adunni’s struggles and triumphs. Through Adunni’s compelling narrative, readers are exposed to the harsh realities faced by countless girls around the world. This book is not just about forced marriage; it is a powerful exploration of resilience, hope, and the unstoppable power of one girl’s voice.
Prepare to be moved, inspired, and enlightened by this thought-provoking novel that sheds light on a pressing issue. ‘The Girl with the Louding Voice’ is a must-read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding forced marriage and the resilience of the human spirit.
A Thousand Splendid Suns
by Khaled Hosseini
A Thousand Splendid Suns is a powerful and heart-wrenching novel by Khaled Hosseini that delves into the lives of two women in Afghanistan, Mariam and Laila. Set against the backdrop of a war-torn country, this book explores the themes of love, sacrifice, and resilience amidst the harsh realities of life.
This captivating story takes us on a journey through the lives of Mariam and Laila, who come from very different backgrounds but are brought together by the cruel circumstances of their lives. Mariam, an illegitimate child, is forced into a loveless marriage at a young age, while Laila, a young and hopeful girl, becomes a victim of the same fate after her family is torn apart by war.
As Mariam and Laila navigate their lives together, they form a deep and unbreakable bond, finding solace and strength in each other. Together, they face the horrors of domestic abuse, oppression, and the constant threat of violence, but they also share moments of love, friendship, and hope.
A Thousand Splendid Suns is a book that sheds light on the realities of forced marriage, a practice that continues to affect the lives of countless women around the world. It explores the resilience of these women, their ability to find strength in the face of adversity, and the power of friendship in the darkest of times.
With his evocative storytelling and vivid descriptions, Hosseini transports readers to a world torn apart by conflict and oppression, where the strength of the human spirit shines through. This book is a poignant reminder of the resilience and bravery of women who face unimaginable challenges, and it will leave readers with a deep appreciation for the power of love and the indomitable nature of the human spirit.
by Patricia McCormick
Sold, written by Patricia McCormick, is a powerful and gripping book that delves into the harrowing world of human trafficking and exploitation. Set in Nepal, this compelling novel follows the journey of Lakshmi, a young girl who is sold into prostitution by her stepfather.
This book sheds light on the dark and often overlooked issue of forced marriage, where young girls are forced into marriages against their will. Through McCormick’s vivid storytelling, readers are transported to the heart of this cruel reality, witnessing the resilience and strength of Lakshmi as she navigates through unimaginable circumstances.
With its raw and honest portrayal of the horrors faced by young girls trapped in forced marriages, Sold is a book that will leave readers both heartbroken and inspired. McCormick’s writing is both haunting and beautiful, capturing the essence of the protagonist’s struggle and determination.
Through its exploration of this important and timely topic, Sold raises awareness about forced marriage and gives a voice to the countless victims who have suffered in silence. This book serves as a stark reminder of the violence and injustice that still exists in our world, urging readers to take action and advocate for change.
The Pearl That Broke Its Shell
by Nadia Hashimi
The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi is a captivating and powerful novel that delves into the painful realities of Afghan society, where the tradition of forced marriage still persists. Set in Kabul, this book takes us on a journey through the lives of two strong Afghan women, Rahima and Shekiba, who are both forced to dress as boys to survive in a patriarchal society.
Through evocative storytelling, Hashimi skillfully explores the themes of identity, resilience, and the power of women’s voices. The novel beautifully portrays the struggles and sacrifices these women make to reclaim their autonomy and break free from the shackles of their forced marriages.
The Pearl That Broke Its Shell is a poignant and thought-provoking book that sheds light on the harsh realities faced by many women around the world. It is a tale of courage, hope, and the indomitable spirit that can emerge even in the darkest of circumstances. This book will not only leave you with a profound appreciation for the strength of women but also ignite a desire for change and justice.
The Color Purple
by Alice Walker
The Color Purple by Alice Walker is a powerful and thought-provoking novel that delves into the lives of African-American women in the 1930s. Set in the deep South, this book tackles important themes such as resilience, oppression, and the search for identity.
This captivating story follows the life of Celie, a young black girl who endures unimaginable hardships, including an early forced marriage. Through a series of letters, Celie shares her innermost thoughts and experiences, providing a raw and intimate insight into her world.
As Celie’s journey unfolds, readers witness her transformation from a voiceless victim to a courageous woman who finds her own voice and fights for her freedom. Along the way, she forges deep connections with other women who have also suffered under the oppressive hand of forced marriages.
The Color Purple is a book that shines a light on the resilience of the human spirit, the power of sisterhood, and the importance of self-discovery. It is a must-read for anyone seeking a profound exploration of the effects of forced marriage and the indomitable strength of women.
The Secret Daughter
by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
The Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda is a captivating novel that delves into the heart-wrenching world of girls caught in the web of arranged marriages. This powerful book explores the heartbreaking consequences of forced unions, shedding light on the lives of those who are affected.
The Underground Girls of Kabul
by Jenny Nordberg
The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg is a captivating and eye-opening book about the hidden world of bacha posh, a tradition in Afghanistan where families disguise their daughters as sons. This powerful book delves into the complexities of gender and culture, shedding light on the lives of these girls who are forced to live as boys.
The Swallows of Kabul
by Yasmina Khadra
The Swallows of Kabul, a captivating novel by Yasmina Khadra, takes us on a journey through the desolate streets of Kabul, Afghanistan, where the lives of four individuals become intertwined amidst the oppressive rule of the Taliban. This poignant tale delves into the depths of human desperation, exploring themes of love, loss, and the struggle for freedom in a society plagued by forced marriages and stifled dreams.
The Runaway Wife
by Rosie Clarke
The Runaway Wife is an enthralling novel that delves into the harrowing world of coerced matrimony. Set in the early 20th century, this gripping tale explores the life of Lily Clarke, a young woman trapped in the clutches of a forced marriage.
As a victim of this oppressive tradition, Lily finds herself torn between societal expectations and her own desires for freedom and happiness. The author, Rosie Clarke, skillfully portrays the internal struggles faced by Lily, emphasizing her determination to break free from the shackles of her unwanted union.
Through vivid storytelling and emotional depth, Clarke takes readers on a journey filled with heart-wrenching moments and unexpected twists. The Runaway Wife offers a poignant portrayal of the strength and resilience required to overcome the hardships imposed by a forced marriage.
With its powerful narrative and compelling characters, this book about coerced matrimony will leave readers captivated until the very last page. The Runaway Wife is a must-read for anyone seeking an enlightening and thought-provoking exploration of the challenges faced by those caught in the web of a forced marriage.
The Road to Home
by Vanessa Del Fabbro
The Road to Home is a compelling and heart-wrenching book about the harrowing journey of a young girl trapped in the clutches of a forced marriage. Vanessa Del Fabbro takes us on a rollercoaster ride of emotions as she recounts her own personal experiences, shedding light on the dark reality of forced marriages.
This powerful memoir delves into the depths of human resilience and the strength of the human spirit. Del Fabbro’s prose is both eloquent and raw, drawing the reader into her world as she navigates the treacherous path towards freedom. Her story is a testament to the indomitable will and courage of those who refuse to be silenced in the face of oppression.
The Road to Home is not just a book about forced marriage; it is a clarion call for justice and change. Del Fabbro’s words serve as a rallying cry for all those who have been silenced and marginalized, urging them to reclaim their voice and fight against the injustices that plague our society.
With its poignant storytelling and powerful message, The Road to Home is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the devastating impact of forced marriages. Del Fabbro’s story will leave you both shaken and inspired, reminding us all of the importance of compassion, empathy, and the fight for human rights.
The Price of Honor
by Neena H. Brar
The Price of Honor by Neena H. Brar is an eye-opening book that delves deep into the harrowing world of coerced matrimony. This gripping novel uncovers the dark secrets and heart-wrenching realities of forced unions, shining a light on a topic that is often swept under the rug.
Brar’s masterful storytelling transports readers into the lives of two young women, Ameena and Fatima, who are tragically trapped in the clutches of forced marriages. Through their intertwined stories, the author weaves a tale of resilience, determination, and the indomitable spirit of the human soul.
As readers follow Ameena and Fatima on their journey, they are confronted with the harsh realities of a practice that strips individuals of their autonomy and dignity. The Price of Honor exposes the emotional and physical toll that forced marriage inflicts on its victims, leaving readers both outraged and inspired to take action.
With its compelling characters, richly detailed settings, and thought-provoking narrative, The Price of Honor is a must-read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of this pressing social issue. Brar’s writing effortlessly combines elements of suspense, drama, and social commentary, making this book a captivating and enlightening read.
If you are looking for a book that sheds light on the dark world of coerced unions, The Price of Honor is an absolute must-read. Brar’s powerful storytelling and compelling characters will keep you engrossed from beginning to end, and leave you with a renewed determination to fight against the injustice of forced marriage.
The Perfect Wife
by JP Delaney
The Perfect Wife: An Unforgettable Thriller of Coercion and Control
Prepare yourself for a gripping journey into the darkness of coercion and control with JP Delaney’s electrifying novel, The Perfect Wife. Set in a world where deceit and manipulation lurk beneath the surface, this psychological thriller explores the harrowing consequences of forced matrimony.
Delving deep into the complexities of relationships and the lengths one would go to maintain power, The Perfect Wife takes readers on a pulse-pounding rollercoaster ride. Our protagonist, Sarah, finds herself trapped in a web of manipulation and forced into marriage against her will. As she struggles to break free from her captors, she uncovers a sinister plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
With Delaney’s masterful storytelling, every page of this book is a tantalizing revelation, each chapter leaving you breathless for more. The author’s meticulous attention to detail and ability to create complex characters will immerse you in a world where nothing is as it seems.
Through skillful prose and heart-pounding suspense, Delaney explores the devastating impact of forced marriage on its victims. As Sarah fights for her freedom and confronts the dark forces that seek to control her, readers will be confronted with the profound human desire for autonomy and justice.
So, if you’re ready to embark on a gripping, heart-wrenching journey, The Perfect Wife is the book for you. Delaney’s exploration of forced marriage will leave you questioning the boundaries of love, power, and the lengths we go to protect those we hold dear. Prepare to be captivated from the very first page.
The Other Wife
by Claire McGowan
Introducing The Other Wife, a gripping thriller by Claire McGowan that delves deep into the dark and dangerous world of coerced matrimony. This compelling book on forced marriage takes readers on a heart-pounding journey as they uncover the shocking truth behind an unsuspecting husband’s hidden life.
Set in a small town in Northern Ireland, the story follows Suzi, a talented photographer who seemingly has it all—a successful career, a loving husband, and a picture-perfect life. However, as the plot unravels, Suzi stumbles upon a series of mysterious photographs that reveal her husband’s secret life and his involvement in a sinister network of forced marriages.
Driven by a mix of fear, curiosity, and a desperate need for answers, Suzi embarks on a perilous quest to expose the truth. With each clue she uncovers, she becomes entangled in a web of danger, manipulation, and deceit, where the line between ally and enemy blurs.
As the tension mounts, Suzi’s determination to save the victims of forced marriages intensifies. With the clock ticking and her own life at stake, she must navigate a treacherous path, all while grappling with her own doubts, insecurities, and shattered trust.
Claire McGowan masterfully weaves together a compelling narrative, filled with unpredictable twists and turns, keeping readers on the edge of their seats. Her vivid descriptions and well-drawn characters bring the story to life, evoking a range of emotions from empathy to righteous anger.
The Other Wife is not merely a book about forced marriage; it is a thought-provoking exploration of resilience, courage, and the lengths one woman will go to protect those who cannot protect themselves. With its powerful message and gripping storytelling, this forced marriage book is a must-read for fans of thrilling suspense and social justice.
The Lost Girls of Paris
by Pam Jenoff
The Lost Girls of Paris is an enthralling historical fiction novel by Pam Jenoff that takes readers on a captivating journey through the lives of three women during World War II. Set against the backdrop of a secret female spy network, this book uncovers the untold stories of courage, sacrifice, and espionage.
While not explicitly a book about forced marriage, The Lost Girls of Paris delves into the lives of women who are forced to make difficult choices and endure unimaginable hardships. It explores themes of resilience, bravery, and the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity.
Through the eyes of Grace, a young widow searching for answers about her late husband’s mysterious past, readers are transported to the dangerous world of female spies operating in Nazi-occupied Europe. As Grace unravels the secrets of these women, she discovers the extraordinary lengths they went to in order to serve their country.
Jenoff’s powerful storytelling and impeccable research bring to life the challenges these women faced as they navigated a world filled with danger and deception. Their stories are intertwined with the heart-wrenching realities of war, the complexities of love and friendship, and the sacrifices made in the name of freedom.
With its gripping plot, well-developed characters, and a rich historical backdrop, The Lost Girls of Paris is a must-read for fans of historical fiction, espionage, and stories of resilience in the face of overwhelming odds. It is a compelling reminder of the strength and bravery of women during one of the darkest periods in history.
The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State
by Nadia Murad
The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad is a powerful and harrowing memoir that sheds light on the atrocities of the Islamic State (IS) and the brutal reality of forced marriage.
This captivating book takes readers on a journey through Nadia Murad’s life as a Yazidi woman in northern Iraq, where she was captured by IS militants and forced into slavery. With courage and resilience, Murad shares the horrors she endured, including sexual violence, physical abuse, and the loss of her loved ones.
As a survivor, Murad not only provides a firsthand account of the brutality she experienced but also raises awareness about the widespread issue of forced marriage. Through her advocacy work and the creation of the Nadia Initiative, she fights for justice, human rights, and the recognition of the genocide against the Yazidi people.
The Last Girl is a gripping and eye-opening book that exposes the dark reality of forced marriage and the resilience of those who refuse to be silenced. It is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and a call to action to end such atrocities.
The Girl Who Escaped ISIS: This Is My Story
by Farida Khalaf
The Girl Who Escaped ISIS: This Is My Story is a powerful memoir that delves into the horrifying reality of forced marriage. Farida Khalaf, a courageous young woman, shares her personal journey of survival and resilience in the face of unimaginable adversity.
This gripping book sheds light on the harrowing experiences that countless girls and women have endured under the cruel grasp of forced marriages. Farida’s narrative is both heart-wrenching and eye-opening, as she recounts the horrors she faced at the hands of ISIS.
Through her compelling storytelling, Farida exposes the dark depths of human cruelty and the strength of the human spirit. This is not just a book about forced marriage; it is a testament to the power of hope, resilience, and the will to fight for freedom.
The Girl Who Escaped ISIS is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the harsh reality faced by those trapped in forced marriages. Farida’s story serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of standing up against oppression and fighting for justice.
The Girl from Aleppo: Nujeen’s Escape from War to Freedom
by Nujeen Mustafa
The Girl from Aleppo: Nujeen’s Escape from War to Freedom
is a captivating memoir that takes readers on a heart-wrenching journey of resilience, courage, and hope. Nujeen Mustafa, a young Syrian girl with cerebral palsy, shares her remarkable story of survival amidst the chaos and destruction of the Syrian civil war.
This compelling book on forced marriage delves into the harrowing experiences that Nujeen and her family faced as they were forced to flee their war-torn homeland. Nujeen’s vulnerability as a disabled girl adds an additional layer of complexity to her already challenging circumstances.
Nujeen’s determination to escape the clutches of violence and find safety shines through the pages of this book about forced marriage. With her sister’s unwavering support, she embarks on an arduous journey that spans thousands of miles, facing numerous obstacles along the way. From crossing treacherous seas in a rubber boat to navigating through hostile borders, Nujeen’s courage is truly awe-inspiring.
As readers delve deeper into Nujeen’s story, they will witness the strength of the human spirit and the power of hope. This forced marriage book sheds light on the plight of countless refugees around the world, highlighting the urgent need for compassion and understanding.
Nujeen’s voice is honest, raw, and deeply moving. Her story serves as a reminder that amidst the darkest of times, even the most vulnerable individuals can rise above their circumstances and find a path to freedom. The Girl from Aleppo: Nujeen’s Escape from War to Freedom is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and a call to action for a more compassionate world.
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe
by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is an inspiring and heart-wrenching tale of resilience and bravery in the face of adversity. Set in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime, this book sheds light on the struggles and triumphs of a young woman determined to protect her family from the horrors of forced marriage.
In a society where women’s rights are severely restricted, Kamila Sidiqi finds herself thrust into the role of breadwinner when her father and brothers are forced to flee the country. With her mother and sisters relying on her, Kamila uses her skills as a dressmaker to start a small business from her home in Khair Khana.
As Kamila’s business thrives, she not only becomes an essential provider for her family but also a symbol of hope for the women in her community. She empowers them by teaching them the art of sewing, enabling them to earn an income and support their own families.
However, Kamila’s journey is not without its challenges. The Taliban’s strict enforcement of gender roles and their oppressive treatment of women constantly threaten the fragile peace she has built. Forced marriages become a looming threat, and Kamila must navigate these dangerous waters to protect her sisters and the women she has come to care for.
Lemmon’s powerful storytelling takes readers on a gripping and emotional journey, showcasing the strength and resilience of Afghan women in the face of unimaginable hardship. Through Kamila’s determination and unwavering spirit, Lemmon highlights the power of sisterhood, community, and the indomitable human spirit.
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is not just a book about forced marriage; it is a testament to the strength and courage of women in the face of adversity. It is a story of hope, resilience, and the power of one individual to make a difference in the lives of many. Lemmon’s vivid descriptions and compelling narrative make this book a must-read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by women in patriarchal societies.
The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland
by Jim DeFede
The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede is a remarkable book that chronicles the extraordinary events that unfolded in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland, on September 11, 2001. In the shadow of the devastating terrorist attacks in the United States, Gander became an unexpected refuge for thousands of stranded passengers on that fateful day.
This heartwarming tale of compassion and solidarity showcases the power of human kindness amidst tragedy. As the world grappled with the shock of 9/11, Gander opened its doors and hearts to approximately 6,700 passengers from 38 different planes that were diverted to the town’s airport. These passengers, from all walks of life and corners of the world, found themselves stranded in a foreign land, uncertain of what the future held.
The book delves into the incredible efforts of the people of Gander, who mobilized with unwavering determination to provide shelter, food, and comfort to the stranded passengers. The townspeople selflessly opened their homes, schools, and community centers to accommodate the unexpected influx of visitors, transforming their town into a temporary haven. Their acts of kindness and solidarity shattered the barriers of nationality, religion, and language, bringing people together in a time of great despair.
Throughout the book, DeFede weaves together the personal stories of both the Gander residents and the stranded passengers. Their experiences, fears, and hopes intertwine, highlighting the profound impact that this unexpected encounter had on their lives. The author’s vivid storytelling transports readers to Gander, allowing them to witness firsthand the incredible bond that formed between strangers in the face of adversity.
The Day the World Came to Town is not just a book about forced marriage, but a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the capacity for compassion in the most challenging of circumstances. It serves as a powerful reminder that, even in the darkest of times, acts of kindness and solidarity have the power to heal wounds and bridge divides.
The Book of Unknown Americans
by Cristina Henríquez
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez is a captivating and heart-wrenching novel that delves into the lives of immigrants living in the United States, highlighting the challenges they face and the sacrifices they make in pursuit of a better life.
This powerful book explores the theme of forced marriage through the lens of the unknown Americans, shedding light on the struggles and triumphs of individuals who are often overlooked and marginalized.
Henríquez’s compelling storytelling weaves together multiple narratives, giving voice to characters from different countries and backgrounds. From the Rivera family, who leave their comfortable life in Mexico to seek medical treatment for their daughter, to the Toro family, who flee violence in Panama and find solace in the United States, each character’s story is a testament to the resilience and determination of immigrants.
Through their experiences, Henríquez exposes the complexities of forced marriage, illustrating the ways in which it can be used as a tool of control and oppression. She explores the emotional and psychological toll it takes on individuals, as well as the impact it has on their relationships and sense of identity.
Ultimately, The Book of Unknown Americans is a poignant exploration of the human spirit and the power of love and community in the face of adversity. It is a book that will leave readers both moved and inspired, reminding us of the importance of empathy and understanding in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world.
In conclusion, these 20 books about forced marriage shed light on a deeply troubling issue that continues to affect countless individuals around the world. Through their powerful narratives, these books offer an intimate look into the lives of those who have experienced forced marriages, exploring the complex emotions, struggles, and resilience of the individuals involved. By raising awareness and fostering empathy, these books have the potential to ignite important conversations and drive meaningful change. Whether you are seeking to educate yourself, advocate for change, or simply gain a deeper understanding of this issue, these books are essential reads that will leave a lasting impact.