Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Walk Across The Sun

A Walk Across The Sun
By Corban Addison
Published by Sterling Publishing

A Walk Across The Sun takes place in the back drop of India.
The Ghai family are a happy Indian family. They live in a comfortable home, by the beach in a rural area.

One morning, they feel the earthquake, and discount it.  The sisters, Ahalya 17, and Sita 15 were excited about the days events, going to the beach, and later getting VIP tickets for the evening.     Ahalya, noticed something strange in the water, but it was too late to leave the beach. The only thing they could do is run, but where to run to? There wasn't any place to protect them from a Tsunami.

It was too late, they survived, but their parents drowned.  Ahalya, and Sita try to find somewhere to go, but unfortunately they trust a man that worked with their father.  It was a wrong decision. He connected them with another man, not knowing they were about to be kidnapped and sold for money for a brothel, in Bombay.

SPOILER ALERT.............................SPOILER ALERT.................SPOILER ALERT........................
In The mean time, across the globe, in Washington, D. C.  Attorney, Thomas Clarke has he's own troubles. He's wife just left him, after the death of their infant daughter. She leaves the U. S. to go back to her country, India. In the meantime, he is asked to take a break, from the law practice.
He decides to work with a organization in India, to prosecute the people involved with kidnapping and selling of young children, and forcing them into prostitution, which is human traffiking.

During one of the raids, which Tom is allowed to witness, but not be involved. The lives of Sita and Ahalya intersect, and forever a bond is made.  Fortunately, Ahalya was found in the brothel. But, it was too late for Sita she was never discovered. She was sold, and traded to another broker and taken to France.

Ahalya, was rescued and taken to a convent.  Tom, during his investigative work create a bond between Ahalya and himself.  A promise is made, a bond is formed with a bracelet, to find Sita.

Review:  I discovered this novel right after the holidays, beside another book in BN.  Both books setting was India.  I don't usually read novels, that take place there, it doesn't interest me.  I usually read novels, that are literary, not thrillers, mysteries or suspense, unless they are literary mysteries.  But, the story caught my attention. 

The book, did not sound like the usually court room thriller, or suspense novel I used to read.
I like to read books, that take place in different locations, to call it a character.  To read books, that I learn something about. 

 Both things fit the bill.  I know the sadness and deprivation, starvation in India.  You read that in books, and National Geographic, and saw the movie, Slumdog Billionaire.  But, I did not know about the human trade, and how wide spread it is. How difficult it is to prosecute somebody for human traffiking.

 What a young child, that is held without her consent goes through.  She is naive, and still sees the world as a beautiful place.  Not realizing that you should be cautious of certain people.  She has not lived long enough to realize the horrors, and horrible things that could happen if you are not cautious. Then to be forced into slave labor, and the worst, sex trade.

These so much more, than what I can blog about, that intrigues, and questions us as humans, but you will just have to buy a copy to see what I mean, about how the author paints the life what it is like to live like this without your consent.

What I wonder about? Why does this happen? Is there human trafficking in the United States as well? Yes, we hear about kidnapping, but I have not heard for money.

 Look at the case of Elizabeth Smart. Yes, she was kidnapped but I don't think there was a exchange of money.  When you think of prostitution, you think of the woman asking for it. She may not want prostitute herself. But, the difference is she is doing it out of her free will, and getting paid. No matter if it is little money or not. It is her free will. 

Human traffiking, and the sex trade on the other hand is a entirely different animal.  it is not your free will, and you are kidnapped, and treated subhuman.  This is where I think there is confusion between the two.  This is the reason, I think it is not taken seriously.

One thing, I did not realize that it is a large business, it is a global problem.  In the novel, Sita is brokered and exchanged so many times. They had a hard time tracking her. From India, to France, to the United States.  I am sure this happens all the time. When the broker fears they will get caught they broker her to someone else continously, to get the authorities off the trail.

There is a little bit, in the book  that explains one country that delves in the human trafffiking, but I would like to know more. Which, I will do my own research and I will post about it later. Because unfortunately, prostitution, and human traffiking is thought of as the same monster. 

What most I thought about, when they are young, they are needed, they are bought and brokered. But, once they are used up and older and not needed, what happens to them? My imagination took over and I imagine the horrible life after.

I was engrossed with A Walk Across the Sun.  The novel captures you right from the beginning to end, and even in between. That usually doesn't happen to me. Somewhere in a novel, I can loose a part and drift off and get bored. But, not with this one.  I loved all the characters, cared about Sita, and Ayala, and  Tom, and his wife, Priya.  I want to know what happens to them all. But, like every novel, or movie it has to end sometime.

This is the author's first novel, it was written because of a trip he made with his wife to India, There he learned about the human sex trade, and wanted to do something about it. 

There is a resource and websites that he refers to. to learn more about the sex trade, and human trafficking. On Corban Addison's website, there are articles, and videos there.  Mr. Addison did he's homework and you can tell, the book was well researched.  I do recommend it highly.  You can read it in one or two sittings. The novel is endorsed by the king of court room drama, John Grisham.  I would think, Mr. Addison would recieve awards for this novel for the story, but also for bringing the subject of human traffiking to the forefront for discussion and debate from several organizations.


Irene said...

This is a great post. It's shocking how we humans treat each other. Thanks for the spoiler alert!

bermudaonion said...

Wow, this sounds like a powerful book.

Sal Howell said...

It was an extraordinary and powerful well written novel, both shocking and sad. I highly recommend it. There is a real and very valuable purpose in exposing the horror of human trafficking.

Anchal. said...

Such a compelling post aptly describing the surprise that comes with the discovery of the details behind the problem of human trafficking.

I recently read this book, and finally decided to write up my thoughts on it. Wonder if you could share your understanding of the short poem the protagonist wrote towards the end of the book? I mulled over it, but it didn't quite connect for me.

The poem can be found here along with my thoughts: