Kidnapped in kathmandu

By Esther Lum


About the book


A compelling story of hope set against the backdrop of present-day human trafficking and international sex trade, Kidnapped in Kathmandu weaves threads of danger and intrigue with universal themes of lost innocence, loyalty and courage to form a colorful tapestry of vivid and mesmerizing scenes set in exotic lands.


This novella is narrated by Devi, an orphaned Nepali girl who travels to Kathmandu to work in a carpet factory where she makes new friends. After a few months they take a day off to celebrate the popular Daisha festival in the city, but their holiday comes to a sudden end when she and her best friend are kidnapped and sold to a brothel in Mumbai’s largest red light district. There, in a world where the worth of young girls is measured only by the thousands of rupees they will earn, Devi and her friend summon strength to survive and determine to escape.




Let me begin by saying I read the whole book in one sitting...yesterday! I could not put it down. I was captivated by the story-line, and I hardly think that was only because I've been to that part of the world and seen the kinds of things in the story. Esther is simply a beautiful writer. So many of my unique and poignant experiences in Nepal were ones I kept close to my soul, and yet was unable to express in words. Kidnapped in Kathmandu did exactly what I've always wanted to do: express the beautiful culture, people, and experience in words. I understood much of the Nepalese vocabulary from speaking with natives also. Another exceptional aspect to the story was how it captured so many of the factual details of international sex trafficking while weaving them into a smooth story-line. I believe that this book has just the right balance of the hard cold facts interwoven with powerful descriptions of the workers' conditions to give knowledge and incite compassion within the readers. She touched on the deception of the traffickers and madams, the powerful psychological manipulation and physical brutality used to keep the girls there, and the shame the girls naturally have which keeps them from wanting to run away and return home. It was not over-dramatized, but rather any dramatic elements are only reflections of the reality. Honestly, you just can't over-dramatize the issue as it is incredibly horrific in and of itself.
Anyways, without further rambling, the book was a work of art, which came from a knowledgeable and experienced author. I hope it touches those who read it in a way which moves them into action for the justice of those still enslaved today. I know that is her heart behind it.


By Rachel Woodhouse


A real gem! Once I started I had to keep going, pulling for Devi all along the way. A great story that moves you through contrasting scenes and emotions of colorful hope and innocence, dark evil, and courageous perseverance against all odds.


By Ray O.

You have to read this book!

The first hand knowledge of the city of Kathmandu, the author quickly transports the reader into the horrifying circumstances the victims of human trafficking suffer. It was IMPOSSIBLE to put this book down! You had to keep reading to find out the fate of the characters. I was caught up in the story line and reminded of the current and ongoing threat that is depicted in this "fictional" story...I recommend this book to EVERYONE!


By Beloved

For more reviews, click here

Read First Chapter

Click here to read the first chapter for free!



With great excitement we are pleased to announce that Kidnapped in Kathmandu has been adapted to a screenplay! Our screenplay is currently making its way through various competitions. If you would like more information on the screenplay please contact us via the contact page.


We are excited to announce that our screenplay won the Platinum Award in the 2017 WorldFest Houston International Film Festival.