The Blue Notebook

The Blue Notebook - James A. Levine

There was a party for Batuk, everyone came, even though Batuk did not know the reason for this celebration. She thought she had a terminal illness and that later she would leave with her father to visit a doctor in another city. Even on their journey, her father would not reveal the reason for their trip. Batuk enjoyed the trip with her father, even acting playful and childish at times trying to forget that she didn’t know why they had journeyed so far from home.   I felt for Batuk for I knew where her life was headed and I knew that the circumstances that awaited her where not pleasant.   I hoped that Batuk was a strong enough individual to handle the situations that she was walking into.  


Batuk’s father sold her once they reached the city. He met up with his contact and he received his money. It all happened in a few moments and Batuk was no longer with her father.   The reality of what her life had now become began when they auction off her virginity amongst her ”uncles.” Her story was alarming and it awoken in me, a fire. I needed to know where this all ended, if it ever ended, for Batuk.  I know this happens in other cultures but for me, it doesn’t make sense in my world. Batuk’s world consists of making sweet cake for men.   She has learned how to be successful at her job, how to play the system and this is her story. Batuk wrote her story down, as she was lucky enough to become in possession of a pencil. Living amongst other teens that also provided services to others, I learned about their lives behind their curtains. Their emotions were like rollercoaster’s, they thought they lucky to be taken care of and to have nice quarters and within minutes their thoughts could change as they thought they were trapped inside with other individuals telling them what to do, their lives numb and every day consisted of the same thing. I was stressed out and I could not put the novel down for last part of the novel, it was a Pretty Woman type of scenario as Batuk is sent to a hotel to teach a young boy, how to be a man? I was thinking to myself as she is given this task, how do you teach a boy how to be become a man? Batuk knows how to perform sexually for a man and I believe that is what she is supposed to be doing but in reality how can you teach someone to become a man? What happens in this last part of this novel had me shaken, literally all over the place.


This novel was an emotional one. I am glad that I read it as it shows cultural differences. It is a hard read as it deals with abuse but again it a novel that I enjoyed. The author did a wonderful job throughout this novel.

“was a paper roll with a tongue of paper hanging down ready to lick your bottom” - toilet paper