Saturday, 9 June 2018

A Walk Across The Sun

Author: Corban Addison
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Type: Trade Paperback
Pages: 437
Source: Local Public Library
Publisher: HarperCollins
First Published: January 2012
First Line: Tamil Nadu, India - "The sea was quiet at first light on the morning their world fell apart."

Book Description from GoodReadsCorban 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 Rating: 4 stars

My Review: Going into this book I knew that it wouldn't be an easy read. The subject matter, young girls forced into the sex trade and international human trafficking, aren't topics for the faint of heart but the topic is an important one that needs to be addressed.

From the beginning, I was invested in the lives of sisters Ahalya and Sita. Their lives were idyllic until a tsunami took away everything they held dear. Sold into the sex trade in Mumbai, their lives are changed forever but their sisterly bond would remain.

The other story line is from the point of view of American lawyer Thomas Clarke who takes a sabbatical to help an NGO in Mumbai. To be honest, I wasn't a fan of 'the white American male swooping in to save the day'. Thomas was a nice guy and had lost a lot personally but I felt his story line took up too much page time that I would have preferred have focused on the sisters.

This was a pretty compulsive read. While the last third felt a little long and the outcome was predictable, overall I found this book compelling. Hopefully it will open people's eyes to the issue of human trafficking and that it isn't something that happens in 'other countries' but is a world-wide issue as young people all over the globe are sold into sexual slavery.

(Note: There are no explicit sexual scenes described but readers will be given enough information to understand the dire situations the girls live in on a daily basis).

Similar Reads: 

Fifteen Lanes by Canadian author S.J Laidlaw. (4.5/5 rating)

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