Thursday, 8 November 2012

Books Read: Corban Addison - A Walk Across the Sun

Ahalya Ghai and her younger sister Sita are as close as sisters can be. But their childhood ends abruptly when a tsunami rips through their Indian village. Destitute and alone, their only hope is to find refuge at a convent many miles away. The moment they hitch a lift their fate is sealed. 

Washington lawyer Thomas Clarke is struggling to cope after the collapse of his family.  He takes a sabbatical from his job and accepts a position with the Bombay branch of an international anti-trafficking group. As his life becomes entwined with that of Ahalya and Sita, he makes it his mission to save them, as well as himself. 

One of the things I've loved since setting up this blog is receiving books that I probably would have missed otherwise as they're by authors I've never heard of before.  One such book is A Walk Across the Sun which was definitely a lot more of a grittier read than some of the other books I've read recently but for me this is a good thing as I like to mix up the types of books I read.

When Ahalya and Sita's parents and grandmother are killed in a Tsunami they are left to fend for themselves, so set off for Chennai to take refuge in a convent but never make it after accepting a lift from a stranger.  Instead they are taken to Mumbai where they are sold into the underworld where life becomes unimaginable for them, their only hope is for a miracle that someone will rescue them.

Thomas has become disillusioned with his life, his wife has left him and returned to India, he's been made the scapegoat at work for his firm losing a big case and he was a helpless bystander in a crime that he was unable to prevent. So when he's offered the chance for some time out, he decides to head to India and work for a non-profit organisation which is working to rescue underage girls who've been trafficked to work in the sex trade.  It's through this work that his path crosses with that of the girls, will he be able to find and rescue them?

It might sound that this book is a bit depressing reading, and it's certainly uncomfortable to read at times, but it's because it's so realistic that it makes you want to keep reading to hope that everything turns out OK for all of the girls mentioned, not just Ahalya and Sita.  It's a story of survival and resilience against all odds and the faith that one day they will be reunited again.   

If this is what Corban Addison is offering as his debut novel, I cannot wait to read more books from him in the future. I'd like to thank Margot at Quercus for sending me a copy of A Walk Across the Sun to review and introducing me to this new author.

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