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Behind The Smile ~ The Story of Lek, a Bar Girl in Pattaya

In this new novel by Owen Jones, Lek is the eldest daughter of a rice farmer from northern Thailand. The still quite young farmer dies unexpectedly and the bank begins foreclosure proceedings. The problem was that the father had never told his wife about the loan, which he had taken out to buy more land.

Behind The Smile ~ Daddy's Hobby

by Owen Jones

Behind The Smile - the story of Lek a bar girl in PattayaThe young family consisting of mum, Lek (22 years), her sister and two brothers have no idea what to do. Lek is already married , but her husband is an irresponsible wastrel, who disappears at the first sign of trouble. Lek's siblings are still at school and the mother is already working.

They debate about whether to sell some land to pay off the debt, but they actually need more land not less. Selling land would eventually lead to homelessness and penury

At a family crisis meeting they regretfully decide that there is nothing else for it but to send Lek into the city to work. However, Lek had left school early with no qualifications, because she had only expected to work on the farm, get married and have a few kids.

She was totally unprepared for anything else and terrified at the prospect of leaving her sheltered family life and village community.

They find a slightly easier way out by getting her a job in her cousin's bar in Pattaya. Lek goes there to work simply as a barmaid - nothing else, but when she finds out she is carrying her husband's child, she drifts into the sex tourism industry because now she needs even more money.

Lek has the child, a girl, and leaves her with her mother 400 miles away on the farm. She anguishes every day over her child and her job but gets by because she has to. It takes Lek ten years to pay off the bank loan.

Behind The Smile tells Lek's story fom her own point of view. It lets the reader in on her thoughts, some of her exploits and her modus operandi. It tells of her hopes and her fears, her dreams and her nightmares.

One day she meets smeone from Barry and they like each other. They like each other a lot, but Lek was the sort of girl that most men liked. The problem was that most of them never came back after their holiday was over.

This one, Craig, did though. The problem now is, can Lek have a normal relationship again after so long in the sex industry with all its lies and deceit?

This story started out to be a one-off, but it has turned into something more. The first book has the subtitle of 'Daddy's Hobby', which is the name of the bar where Lek and her friends work.

By the way the idea for the title of the book comes from Thailand's nickname: The Land of Smiles, just as Wales is the Land of Song

If you would like to read more about Lek and the book, please go over to the book's web site and blog starting at:

Behind The Smile ~ The Story of Lek, a Bar Girl in Pattaya