The Bracelet
by Charles A. Bonner
Authors Press

"’The next time you don’t have my money, you know what’s going to happen,' he spits as he turns and storms out of the room."

Bonner’s novel follows an ever-expanding group of girls who work together to bring down international groups responsible for child sex slaves. The book opens with a respectable looking, older gentleman tricking a young girl named Macie into his car. He speeds away with her and puts her in his underground bunker as his sex slave. However, Macie is a fighter. She does her best to gain the confidence of the man so he will begin trusting her with more and more freedom, all with the plan that it will eventually lead to her escape. After failing her initial escape attempt, Macie finally succeeds with the help of her sister. Once escaped, Macie determines to use her own experience and fierce determination to help girls worldwide to get away from men just like she has done. She begins a plan to help more girls escape, and she gets help from the government and a lawyer to do so. Soon, she has a small but dedicated group of escaped girls who work together to bring down sex slave rings all over the world.

Through Bonner’s novel, the focus is foremost on the subject and global problem of child sex slaves. He writes passionately about the topic and includes many passages that are more informational in their intent rather than pursuing a simple fictional narrative. Considering the atrocious experiences these girls go through, the reader quickly begins pulling for them and finds satisfaction every time they free another child or bring down more of the men involved. The plot moves quickly as the growing group of girls, with support from their lawyer and government friends, travel to many countries in their crusade. Through the narrative, Bonner has a lot to say on the subject and inserts his opinions on it throughout the story.

Bonner’s passion for the subject and knowledge of the material is readily apparent but comes at the cost of the narrative. Many characters in the book fall into stereotypes based on gender, race, or socio-economic levels. With so much intense focus on the serious problem of child sex rings, the characters are never rounded out, and their international exploits are resolved a little too quickly and easily. There is a slight feel of A Modest Proposal here, though, except that Swift wrote about a tough subject through satire, while the writing here focuses on a problem in a more direct manner.

The conclusion of Bonner’s narrative takes a surprising and unexpected turn that may leave some readers scratching their heads while others may be nodding with agreement. One of those who is aware of the girl’s plight is Ms. Freya, an entertainment personality similar to Oprah Winfrey. She is determined to help make changes in the world and invites Mr. Secretary from the government on her show for an interview. She links the child sex slaves and the widespread abuse of women in the hands of men historically, going back to the witch hunts around the globe. After the interview is shown around the world, the reader follows the story of a charismatic man named Luther. Luther proceeds to speak while a ritual takes place with women in the middle of a circle of shirtless men holding torches. From that point, the rest of the book follows Luther’s speech about changing the world through the help of goddesses, God, and all the men of the world asking these goddesses for forgiveness. It is a startling transition for the reader to make. Bonner is obviously passionate about his subject, and readers who share that intense interest may find aspects of his book intriguing.

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