As I write this review of THE SEX TOURIST, I remain conflicted. It’s explicit subject matter conjured up a multitude of varied emotions. Marketed as erotic fiction based on a true-life story, it’s written in two parts. Part one was taken from daily journal entries of a real-life sex worker. At times stimulating, but for the most part revolting, it fascinated me. Although, I must admit, there were several moments when its brutality nearly forced me to abandon this book. Aroused and yet, deeply disturbed, I read on. Lillian Biro’s murder could not be in vain. I needed to hear what she had to say – to understand her. More importantly, I needed to find a sense of peace in her untimely death.
Throughout her first-hand account, I was transported into the twisted underworld of a sex worker. If you should begin to judge Lillian, please let me remind you of people in glass houses. There is only ONE who is qualified to make a final judgement. There is no denying her choices were misguided and clearly pointed to a downward spiral. That is the simple fact. It’s a tough pill to swallow when you understand that her choices were made from love. Faced with an ill mother who could not afford the proper medical treatment or the essentials to provide for herself and her daughters, Lillian began to strip. It was a means to an end which escalated into a way of life. People get addicted to money and I suspect that was part of the reason she become a professional prostitute. The cash she earned was spent on her family, a selfish-bastard of a boyfriend, and her education. Her enthusiasm to become an English teacher was contagious. Armed with her bachelor’s degree, her retirement from a dark existence was coming into fruition. Balancing on the cusp of a dream come true, her light was extinguished.
Part two was written by Lillian’s twin sister. Determined to find her sister’s killer, Vivian sets out on a mission to bring the murderer to justice. Vivian takes the reader into the arena of forensics and revenge. Her love the catalyst in her adamant quest for truth – her sister was not a victim of classic suicide.
Author, Olivia Wild, has done her sister a great justice by publishing THE SEX TOURIST. There is no doubt in my mind that Lillian is smiling down at us. The greatest lesson she taught was found within her diary. Knowing her words may be responsible for deterring others from a cruel and belittling existence brings me peace.
As a reader and an aspiring author, I often place emphasis on the quality of the writing. I would be remiss if I did not point out that this novel had several grammatical errors which made it choppy at times. The content far outweighed the slight mistakes. Considering, that the author’s first language is not English, I believe these small errors can be overlooked.