Saturday 1 September 2018

Book ~ "Somebody's Daughter: Inside an International Prostitution Ring" (2016) Phonse Jessome

From Goodreads ~ A stunning exposé of prostitution in Canada, where a criminal syndicate traffics young women across the country, selling their bodies and murdering them at will.

Annie Mae Wilson was nineteen years old on the night she died. After five years working the streets of Nova Scotia, she had found a new pimp and cut ties with supermarket bag boy Bruno, who had called himself her man. Bruno was furious and demanded to be compensated. When Annie Mae refused, he lost his temper and killed her with a single punch. People like Bruno call prostitution “The Game,” and Annie Mae lost.

Annie Mae was one of twenty-two prostitutes killed in Canada in 1992, victims of an oppressive system of terror and violence that often leads to addiction, rape, and death. In this groundbreaking piece of investigative journalism, Annie Mae’s story is finally told, along with those of other young women caught in the vice of prostitution.

Impeccably researched and engagingly written, this true crime account from veteran reporter Phonse Jessome approaches a difficult subject without judgment. Relying on first-person testimony from prostitutes and their pimps, Jessome explores a side of modern life that few people have seen but which no one can afford to ignore.

Originally written in 1996 by Nova Scotia journalist Phonse Jessome, this book is about a prostitution ring with its roots in Nova Scotia (the ring was referred to as the "Scotians") in the early 1990s, which prompted a police task force to be formed in Halifax to combat this issue.

Young girls either willingly or were forced into prostitution (the "Game") and many of their pimps were from North Preston, which is just outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Many of the girls who went into it willingly thought they had no other choice ... they had no education and came from abusive homes where love was shown through beatings ... and this was the only way to make money.  Others were seduced by a pimp who made them think they were a couple and she was helping them make a better life by doing it.  Regardless they soon found out that their pimp was in control and there was no way to escape the life, even if they wanted to.  If they stepped out of line, they learned a lesson through vicious beatings.  Girls were regularly moved from Halifax to Toronto, Montreal and other places and sold among the other pimps.

With this book, I learned a lot about the issue of prostitution and pimps.  Some girls enjoy the lifestyle while others have no choice but to stay in it because they feel they have no other options, they are terrified to leave and/and can't afford the "fee" to their pimp to buy their freedom.  The book follows the lives of Annie Mae, Stacey, Taunya, Gizelle and others ... how they ended up involved, how/if they tried to get out and their status as a couple years after the task force had been set up.

Despite the subject matter, I liked the writing style and found this book interesting.  The editing could have been tighter as there were typos (it's too bad these weren't picked up when it was rereleased ten years later).  As a head's up, there is swearing and obviously violence.

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