First, I feel like a real shit for only giving this 3.5 stars. In my defense, it's because there wasn't ENOUGH book for me. Mende tells of at least 7+ years kept as a slave in about 150 pages. I didn't necessarily need graphic details, but I did want to get to know her more, see her strength, know how she developed her survival instincts, etc. Unfortunately the most horrific scene contained in this novel (other than the village raid and kidnapping) is the mutilation she endured during her female circumcision.