Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Walk Across the Sun – Corban Addison

Publisher:  Sterling Publishing
Pages:  384
Source:  Received a galley copy from publisher
Genre:  Adult Thriller

From Goodreads:
Corban Addison leads readers on a chilling, eye-opening journey into Mumbai's seedy underworld--and the nightmare of two orphaned girls swept into the international sex trade. When a tsunami rages through their coastal town in India, 17-year-old Ahalya Ghai and her 15-year-old sister Sita are left orphaned and homeless. With almost everyone they know suddenly erased from the face of the earth, the girls set out for the convent where they attend school. They are abducted almost immediately and sold to a Mumbai brothel owner, beginning a hellish descent into the bowels of the sex trade. Halfway across the world, Washington, D.C., attorney Thomas Clarke faces his own personal and professional crisis-and makes the fateful decision to pursue a pro bono sabbatical working in India for an NGO that prosecutes the subcontinent's human traffickers. There, his conscience awakens as he sees firsthand the horrors of the trade in human flesh, and the corrupt judicial system that fosters it. Learning of the fate of Ahalya and Sita, Clarke makes it his personal mission to rescue them, setting the stage for a riveting showdown with an international network of ruthless criminals.

My Thoughts:
Those of us not familiar with the sex trade, me being one of those, usually think of it as happening “someplace else”.  The reality is that it happens all over the world, including right here in the United States.  Children are sold for drugs, prostitution, kidnapped right off of the street.  Before you go any further in this review you need to know that this is not a feel good topic.  It is repulsive and hard to read.
We start off the story with two innocent girls whose life is decimated due to a tsunami.  They try to get to their school where the sisters will take care of them.  Things go wrong and they find themselves where no young person should ever be, in the sex trade.  Thomas Clarke is a lawyer who has lost so much already.  He witnesses a kidnapping of a young girl in a park and this sets him on his mission to work against these traffickers.  

This story moves along smoothly carrying the reader from one heartbreak to another.  It is a very emotional book to read.  It lets you see inside the head and heart of these people who sell children for sex.  I think it was best said when one of the characters said to the young girl he had with him, “You are not here because I enjoy the sale of sex. You are here because men enjoy the purchase of it.” (page 329)
I thought about that remark.  If we could get rid of all of the people who were willing to pay for this service then we would not have the sex trade. 

As the author took us across India we get a look at the different caste systems and the way they treat people.  Both of these girls were middle class students who knew English.  This made them more valuable than many others.  The author doesn’t leave the reader in a depressive state.  He definitely wanted to give the reader hope that this situation can change in the future.  This is a must read book.  If nothing else you as a parent should read it to see what you need to protect your children from.

Corban Addison is able to give a voice to the victims of human trafficking.  Without that voice people like me know nothing of it.  We live in our safe little world.  After reading this book my world doesn’t feel so safe anymore and it isn’t as small as it once was.

Meet the Author:
Corban Addison holds a degree in law and engineering from the University of Virginia and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. After completing a federal clerkship, Addison began his career specializing in corporate law and litigation. He has an abiding interest in international human rights, and is a supporter of numerous causes, including the abolition of modern slavery. He lives with his wife and two children in Virginia. A Walk Across the Sun is his first novel.

Watch the Trailer:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DzA-4-qtg8

Links:  CorbanAddison.com, facebook.com/CorbanAddison

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