Reviews & Comments

Published on July 5 at

Female genital mutilation is an issue that many of us know little about, but this book brings home the extent of this cruel practice and the lifelong physical and mental consequences suffered by women who have undergone the procedure. A cultural norm throughout parts of Africa and beyond, FGM involves an extensive removal of genital tissue, often performed with no anesthetic while the young girl is pinned down, screaming in agony.

The Girl With Three Legs is a riveting true account of Soraya Mire, who was a member of a wealthy and politically connected family in Mogadishu. As a "gift" from her mother, the unsuspecting young Somalian girl was genitally mutilated in a horrifying procedure that is graphically described and heart-rending to read. A celebration followed in her home as the tortured child lay writhing in agony. Although one might think female genital mutilation is embraced by the poor, ignorant members of a society, Soraya's family was well educated and sophisticated.

The following years of pain and physical difficulties encountered by Soraya almost drove her out of her mind. An arranged marriage to a brutal cousin brought more terror and pain into her life. This unusually outspoken and driven woman fought back, and made the abolishment of female genital mutilation her mission in life. She has experienced physical and mental healing, success in her personal life, and made great strides in helping to abolish this devastating practice that is used to keep women in subjugation as a man's property.

Although FGM was legal in 54 countries, women like Soraya have helped make it illegal in many countries. Even so, there are 28 countries where the practice is still legal.

From Wikipedia: FGC (Female Genital Cutting) is predominantly practiced in Northeast Africa and parts of the Near East and Southeast Asia, although it has also been reported to occur in individual tribes in South America and Australia. Amnesty International estimates that approximately 2 million girls undergo FGC every year.

This book is definitely not recommended for young teens. The graphic scenes of mutilation, rape and mental turmoil Soraya Mire suffers require a mature reader. It is an eye-opening account of a barbaric cultural practice that must be eradicated.

The Girl With Three Legs is scheduled to be published on October 1, 2011. Book review by KayZ,

Will be published on Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing

The Girl with Three Legs by Soraya Mire is a very disturbing account of living with FGM (female genital mutilation). Soraya grew up in Somali where she is constantly taunted by her classmates as "the girl with three legs." Not knowing what this meant, she asks her mother and older sisters. Soraya's mother decides at the age of 13 that Soraya should receive "her gift." Thinking that she was going shopping for a new dress, her mother takes her to "the man in white" and they cut and seal up her female parts which are only to be opened back up again by her future husband. Soraya suffers from considerable pain for years afterwards. Her mother again betrays her and gives her to her abusive cousin for an arranged marriage. Soraya is scared, alone, and feels like a prisoner in her own body. She finally takes charge of her life and decides to get corrective surgery. She has since become an inspiration to both women and young girls who have also become a victim of this senseless tradition. The Girl with Three Legs will leave you wondering how many throughout the world have to live with this. Very inspirational and heartbreaking. Received courtesy of Net Galley.
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