Review: Garden of Dreams by Melissa Siebert

garden-of-dreams-coverMelissa Siebert’s debut novel Garden of Dreams is the story of Eli de Villiers, a teenage wannabe rocker from Cape Town who travels to India with his mom Margo, a journalist. They explore the country on their way to Kathmandu, Nepal, where Eli is to visit his estranged father Anton, a world-renowned peacemaker. During their stay in Jaisalmer on the edge of the Thar Desert, Margo suddenly decides to abandon her son in the middle of the night to pursue a story on witchcraft allegations back home in Limpopo. She asks Badresh, the manager of the guesthouse where they are staying, to ensure that Eli is taken to the airport in Delhi to continue his journey north safely on his own. Margo’s staggeringly reckless decision (Eli is not even fourteen!) and blind trust in a complete stranger sends her son on a trip through the hell of child trafficking. He is kidnapped and taken to a brothel in the red-light district of Delhi, where he lands in the clutches of the vile Auntie Lakshmi, a lowlife criminal who develops a highly disturbing fascination with Eli. In the brothel Eli befriends some of the other children who are being drugged and raped for profit…

Continue reading: LitNet.

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