Dolly won’t Play by Monisha K Gumber
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd
Price: Rs.69 INR(Kindle edition)
Buy here: https://amzn.to/31PHiT8
My take on the book:
Dolly, a young girl, has problem learning basic stuff in school and even while responding to her teachers, hence everyone branding her as dumb. Added to that is the constant tension between her parents; the bigger problem is Uday uncle, her mother’s friend who sexually abused her. As Dolly constantly struggles for acceptance and love from her father, classmates and teachers, she reaches a stage of enjoying the abuse to keep her Uncle happy and satisfied and hence close to her. For a young girl discovered with a mental disability and secretly abused all through her childhood, what does adult life have in store, forms the rest of the story.
This book follows a different format as the story is narrated in a free-flowing way coupled with multiple illustrations. The illustrations are very interesting, and embed a deep meaning, highlighting the feelings of Dolly. The topic of child abuse especially by those from their inner circle and trusted people is not new. In fact, such people form majority of the abuse meted out to young kids. But this book stands out in a very effective way as the story is narrated by the girl herself, hence bringing forward her inner turmoil through her voice, shaking the reader more.
Along with the girl’s innocence, as she was growing up and unable to understand the world’s trappings, the story is a mirror to the insensitivity of the society which does not accept people with their flaws. While all kids are expected to be normal, those who cannot catch up with their peers are often left behind and ill-treated. So is the case with childhood abuse which leaves a deep scar on a child’s psych, at times for their entire life. While the perpetrators are generally not exposed owing to family and societal pressures the victims suffer alone.
The author deserves applause for bringing two very important issues faced by young kids in our society. The writing style helps the message to be delivered with illustrations, making it apt for kids as well. However, the ending was not up to my expectations as I expected better conclusion for Dolly’s pain. This one is a must read especially for young girls as the author trashes a lot of clichés of our society.