Book Reviews

Rescuing Hope: A Story of Sex Trafficking in America {Book Review}

Over the last three years, my heart has been broken in a greater way concerning issues of Justice.  One area in particular has gripped my heart with such sadness that I want to do everything in my power to bring awareness and help bring an end it to.  That is the area of Human Trafficking.

When I was presented with the opportunity to review “Rescuing Hope:  A Story of Sex Trafficking in America” by Susan Norris, I knew I could not say no.  To think that girls as young as my own daughters, or younger, are taken and stripped of their innocence while being held captive and sold for sex is something I can hardly think about.

Every two minutes, evil strips innocence from a child and sells her into slavery. For sex. Not in a third world country, but in America.  Before you take another breath, the next victim will be taken or tricked from her family by a profit-hungry criminal. She could be a neighbor. A friend. Your sister. Your daughter.

I have been crying out for God to “break my heart for what breaks His”.  This book did just that.  Although not a true story, it is a vivid account of what happens to so many young, innocent girls in this country every day. Up until about three years ago, I did not fully grasp the reality of sex trafficking in my own country.  I always thought it only happened in some far off, distant land, where people suffered in immense poverty and where parents felt they had no choice but to sell their children as a matter of survival.  But as I read this book, my heart was gripped by the severity of sex trafficking right here in the United States.  As a matter of fact, three years ago while I attended a summit on Human Trafficking in my home town, a house was raided and four girls were rescued.  This happened in my own backyard, literally blocks from where I live.

At fourteen, Hope Ellis is the all-American girl with a good life—until the day she tries to help her mom with their cross-town move by supervising the movers. When they finish, one of the men returns to the house and rapes her. Held silent by his threats, darkness begins to engulf her. But the rape proves to be the least of Hope’s troubles. In a gasping attempt at normalcy, she succumbs to the attention of a smooth-talking man on the subway. He promises acceptance. He declares his love. He lures her out from under the shelter of her suburban life.  Hope’s disappearance sets a community in motion. She’s one of their own. They determine to find Hope, whatever the cost, before she’s lost forever.  Will you?

My eyes have been opened to how easily young girls can be lured away by men who desire to fulfill the supply and demand of sex for sale.  Human Trafficking is an overwhelming issue, but together, we can bring awareness and help to make a difference.  In the back of the book, the author lists several organizations that you can get involved with to do your part.

Overall, this is a gripping book which will open your eyes to the heart-wrenching truth of Human Trafficking in the United States.  A word of caution for parents:  This is not a book that I would allow a young teen to read.  It shares very real accounts of rape and sex, and although it’s not racey by any means, I would recommend reading it first and making the right determination for your child.

Has your heart been broken for the issue of human trafficking?  Please share our experience in the comments below.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

*This post is part of a challenge to blog every weekday in the month of April.  You can read more about it here.

5 thoughts on “Rescuing Hope: A Story of Sex Trafficking in America {Book Review}”

  1. Child of God says:

    Hi Barbie,
    Sex trafficking is everywhere and it is totally wrong and so very sad for those who are stolen. :'( I live off of an Indian Reserve and I know that there is a lot of sex trafficking going on down there. So much evil happening that my husband and I were moved to drive along the reserve road and pray and rebuke this evil that is mounting.
    1 1/2 year ago a young girl was raped and murdered around my home town. The whole town was on alert for this creep and I was so worried for my daughter who had to take the bus to the university every day. I was so scared for her to walk off the bus to my husband office which was only a 2 minute walk away but there was a small stretch that she had to walk that was in a dark place. I asked one of her friends that rode the bus with her to please walk with her to the office and have his mom pick him up there instead of the bus stop. My nerves were on alert and I spent a lot of time just praying for protection. I cannot imagine what it is like to loose your child to sex trafficking and not know what has happened to them.

    Thanks for sharing this review.
    Child of God recently posted..Love Conquers Hate

  2. Carrie says:

    I just watched a news report on trafficking and yes, my heart absolutely breaks for these girls, some as young as three years old! I look at my own children and my mind cannot understand the actions of people. What scares me is that the men who commit these crimes don’t look like monsters, but like us. Thank you for keeping this out in the open, in the light for all to see!
    Carrie recently posted..Move Over, Winter Browns!

  3. Susan Norris says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your platform with Hope today. This is a growing issue and we need to sound the alarm and wake our nation up to this atrocity. Thank you for raising your voice for hope.
    If you or your readers have any questions about the issue or the book, please feel free to email me at

  4. Heather @ A Nurse's Wildflowers says:

    Hi Barbie,

    This article caught my eye today. I am so glad you are bringing attention to this. This is a major, major problem. I could go on and on about this but will keep it short. I am a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. I also live in one of the highest sex trafficking areas in the whole country and the USA has very high stats too. The majority of people have no clue this is going on. Most also have no clue how much rape in general is going on. 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted in their life and only 1 in 10 ever report! These numbers are maddening to me. What makes me even sicker is how society and our culture down plays this and how the victims are perceived and treated. It is a very viscous cycle that is extremely hard to break. It is heart breaking to see this playing out in my area. I will have to read this book. Another book relating to this kind of thing is called “Half The Sky” by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDUNN. It is about real life stories all over the world.
    Heather @ A Nurse’s Wildflowers recently posted..Homeschooling without a Schoolroom!

    1. Barbie says:

      Thank you so much Heather. As a prayer leader in my house of prayer, we often take 2 hour sets and pray against human trafficking. It grieves my heart but I know that God has given me a platform to share. I am hopeful more opportunities will come my way to use my blog to share. This book, although not a true story, was so eye opening for me. Just a couple of weeks ago, they found a woman who was being held, against her will, in a hotel just blocks from where I live. I appreciate you stopping by to leave this comment. Blessings!

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