Nowhere Girl, by A.J. Paquette (fiction) – born in Thai prison, American girl seeks home

Far, far from anyone who knows her.
Far from the crowded streets of Bangkok.
A single twisted tree visible through the prison bars.

Luchi’s mother refused to contact anyone in the USA when she was transferred to Khon Meung prison in northern Thailand, so the sweet blond baby born to her there was raised by the women who shared their cell.

Imagine being 14 years old and riding in a car for the first time! Windows with glass and computers are equally new technologies for Luchi, as she travels away from the only place she’s ever lived, following the wishes of her mother who died just before she could give her daughter any concrete information about their family in the States.

Beautifully written and satisfyingly original, you’ll remember Luchi’s difficult journey long after you finish reading Nowhere Girl. Find it today at your local library or independent bookseller.

Book info: Nowhere Girl / A. J. Paquette. Walker & Company, 2011. [author’s website] [author interview] [publisher site]

Recommendation: Luchi Ann must leave the prison where she was born. As her American mother died, she told the blond teenager to “go home”, leaving scraps of information. Questions about her father always sent Mama into bleak depression – Mama, who was so glad to be relocated to this remote women’s prison in rural Thailand before Luchi’s birth, who warned her to stay safe from danger outside the prison. Oh, the inmates educated Luchi with every book they could find so she knows math and literature in three languages, but very little about the current world outside the prison walls.

So now she’s headed for Bangkok with an old list of phone numbers, a discarded letter, and her mother’s US passport. First time to ride in a car, first time to eat with strangers, first time to see buildings reaching to the sky… Trying to find answers to her mother’s past, to her own identity – this is no easy task for someone who has never before traveled wherever she wanted, never touched a computer.

Can Luchi discover the location of her mother’s home in America? How can she travel half-way around the world with no money and no passport? What is the danger outside the prison walls that her mother always warned her about?

A stirring tale of self-discovery and unexpected adventures, readers will be enthralled with Luchi’s reflections on life in Thailand as they root for her to succeed in her quest to fulfill her mother’s final wish. (One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

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