Book Review: The Prostitute’s Daughter


A magical realism novel written by Juliet Philip published in the U.S as ‘The Runaway Daughter’, but was released in India as ‘The Prostitute’s Daughter’. A coming of age novella that aims to ignite the soul and desires of the youth to strive and keep working towards their dreams. With such a unique title this book is surely an eye candy for those who are intrigued by a book’s cover.

The story centres on the life of Kamada, the prostitute Tara’s daughter, who declares in the very beginning-“I will be the hero of my life, I will make deliberate choices to create my own destiny and escape my mother’s dirty world.” Thus the tone of the novel is set and flows through Kamada’s struggles with daily life and her vivid and magical imagination which is frequently fused with reality. She resents her mother’s world where-in she is solicited by wealthy men in Mumbai, and here the child’s imagination acts like a shield to her brutal reality. She lives in a bungalow and has servants to cater to her needs yet craves for love and desires prison break.

The entire story takes a stroll through the streets of Mumbai, with blunt and almost pity descriptions of the city and it’s happenings, althoughKamada who is on a mission to escape this city and her mother’s house which feel like a prison, her mother also attempts to convince Kamada to follow in her footsteps. Her blue folder- the sacred object of her life containing everything necessary for her escape from Mumbai to America, for which she has been constantly making arrangements. As she plans the escape a constant support is her best friend Anjana who helps her prepare for the escape and Rosamma- the lady who actually took care of her while her mother was busy ‘entertaining’ or on international trips serving as a ‘companion’ for her clients. With a barely cordial relationship with her mother and the vicious predators on the roads of Mumbai preying on the female species at every possible chance, she fights all odds to be free. However her world is turned upside down upon the revelation of a secret by her mother.

The entire story is narrated by Kamada and occasionally involves conversations with other people, often she is distracted and travels into a world woven by her private thoughts which tends to protect her and help keep her stability in this chaotic city and her home which she severely despises. Sometimes, however, the imaginative parts of this novel can be over powering.

While mainly this book drives the curious nature in us and touches our emotional core in an almost empathetic sense. The sheer detail of it describes Kamada’s highly agitated and excited resolve to escape her current life and pursue her dreams and weave a brand new life which she desires to live on her own terms. It is an extremely memorable tale emphasizing on the perseverance that dreams require and the importance of independence in an individual’s life.

“Encouraging words can make such an instant and lasting impression”- Kamada. A story which shines in its own right and provides for a great motivational read.

Book Details:-        

Author: Juliet Philip
Publisher: Om Books Intl Publishing Year: 2014
ISBN-13: 9789384225612 ISBN-10: 9384225614
Cover: Paperback No. Of Pages: 195
MRP: Rs  195 Buy From:

Review By Alibha Mallik

Sprightly Spirit

About Sprightly Spirit

“I dare do all that may become a man. Who dares more is none”. And all, may be. It may be the vigor. Or the spirit. Or the courage to avoid being “politically correct” or bent. And, ban all averse with immaculate overture of graciously fathomable words firm in views. Subtle. Justifying the undying conscience. Values. Knowledge. And, dares to stay true. True to own. True to the world. And, to the words. With a dream in eyes it exists. In you. In me. In all. The sprite that never shies away. The spirit that never dies!


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