A Walk Across the Sun

A Walk Across the Sun

eBook - 2012
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After their home in India is devastated by a tsunami, two teenage sisters are taken by criminals and thrust into a world of violence and human trafficking. Half a world away, an American lawyer is estranged from his wife and pursues a pro bono sabbatical in Mumbai working with an organization that prosecutes the human traffickers who have abducted the girls.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario :, HarperCollins Publishers,, [2012]
Description: 1 online resource
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9781443408257

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Sep 08, 2020

A Walk Across the Sun is a very eye-opening book for me. It made me realize that human trafficking is not a far-off, foreign concept. Though I am already aware of human trafficking's existence, after reading this book the issue of human trafficking has become more personal. Addison depicts the horror of being trapped in the trafficking industry very well. This book tackle a very serious and horrific part of our society, it was not written in a way that makes it extremely hard to read. This book is a very accurate depiction of the trafficking industry, even though it is a work of fiction. Addison does a very good job bringing the characters to life.

However, I think that Addison should have elaborated less on Thomas' personal life and more about how Ahalya coped after she was rescued. I felt like Thomas' personal life kind-of distracted from the problem of human trafficking. Though his personal life was important for the storyline, I think reading about the physical and mental consequences that Ahayla went through after such a horrifying experience would have been more impactful, seeing that the human trafficking experience still effects the victims even after they are rescued.

In all, A Walk Across the Sun is a very well written book that dives into the heart of the human trafficking problem.

Jan 20, 2019

This is a solidly good book. I was really hesitant to read it, because how can a story about human trafficking be anything but horrifying and heartbreaking? We even shy away from calling it what it is- slavery ("trafficking" is so much softer and more vague). And I know I tend to think of it as something that happens to other people, even though I KNOW Seattle is one of the trafficking locations in the US. Los Angeles and New York are in that list, by the way. I used to work near the port and I'd see those huge shipping containers and think "No one would even know if a whole herd of people were locked in there."

But having read this story, it's much more organized, and sinister, than that. The author did his research (he talks about it in the author's note), mostly with a group in India similar to his fictional CASE- an NGO that is dedicated to finding the slave owners, slave sellers, and their gangs and bringing them to justice, as well as supporting the victims (minors, and otherwise). And from what he writes, the trade in human slavery, especially sex slavery, works in conjunction with other black market dealings- drug networks, mafia, smuggling, and espionage. It's difficult to wrap my head around the concept of vast underground networks that spin entirely on men buying women and underage girls.

So while the book as a whole wasn't eye opening, it did shed some light into how this phenomenon can continue to thrive around the world. And certainly the resources the author provides help. He has some practical ways to encourage fighting modern slavery, which I really needed.

OK, back to the story of the story. There are three main characters- Ahalya, Sita, and Thomas. The story is written in third person so I never really connected with any of the characters. And the sensationalism is reduced, so it wasn't visceral or grisly. Mostly, I disliked Thomas but appreciated his persistence. Mostly, Sita was amazingly brave. More brave than I would be, in her situation. Mostly, Ahalya felt like a plot device. But overall, this was worth the read. It's an important topic, and not a poorly written story.

Here are some eye-popping Federal US statistics for you:
14,500-17,500 human beings are sold into slavery within the US every year. Mostly, these are people imported from countries like India, Eastern Europe, the Philippines, Mexico, etc.

100,000 to 300,000 of these human beings are under the age of 18, and usually exploited sexually. The average age of a sexually exploited child is 11. Prostitution usually starts are age 12 (for boys) or 13 (for girls). The average lifespan of a child in the sex trafficking trade? Two years.

2003 was the first time a state passed a law criminalizing human trafficking (it was WA state, but seriously- 2003?!)

In 2007, slave traders made more profit than Google, Nike, and Starbucks combined.

Slavery accounts for labor in the following industries: Sex and Escort, Domestic work, Traveling sales crews, Landscaping, Food services, Construction, Health and Beauty, Hospitality, Manufacturing, Carnivals, Forestry, and more.

The worst cities in the US for human slavery are: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Louis, Tampa, and DC.

The best way to fight it is to put a voice to it. Check out organizations like Polaris and be vigilant. Support organizations that advocate for the victims and work with law enforcement to bust the perpetrators.

Aug 21, 2018

This is a great story with lots of suspense. It is a serious subject though, so I would suggest that it is best for adults. I really liked the fact that it had some action points at the end of the book, so you could take action. It was harrowing in places, but it is what is really happening unfortunately.

Jul 06, 2017

Addison tackled an extremely important topic in this novel. Empathically written and well researched, Addison's choice of protagonists makes the story particularly moving. I appreciate being able to 'get into' the psyche of a fifteen year old innocent. Addison's amazingly detailed and painful insight into the world of human trafficking of girls and women really helped me understand what it would be like to be a women trapped in such horrific circumstances as the women he portrays.

Apr 05, 2017

Interesting and informative plot but the writing was over-simplistic to the point of being painful. Almost felt like reading a Scholastic Level 5 school book instead of an adult novel. I skimmed through most of this book ... disappointing.

Very interesting plot but writing style is disappointingly simplistic. I felt I was being spoon fed the emotions and the terror. A good book but lacks impact because of the writing.

Apr 28, 2016

Although a work of fiction, it runs parallel with the actual world of sex trafficking. The success in the promotion of this evil is due to the people world-wide who participate in their deviant behavior. The crimes inflicted on these young girls is a reflection of what happens to millions of others.

Apr 22, 2016

Knowing what this book was about made it hard for me to get through the first two chapters. But despite the heavy subject matter, this book was a great read! I look forward to reading his other books

ehbooklover Apr 12, 2016

This book's strong female characters were terrific and had me rooting for them from the first page. It's main topic of human trafficking is hard to read about, but the author is able to effectively communicate the disturbing scope of this issue without providing gratuitous detail. And despite this difficult topic, the book manages to be uplifting as well. A great read!

CatherineG_1 Mar 27, 2016

Addison's story about two sisters sold into international slavery was well researched and written.
Reading John Grisham's endorsement of this book made me realize this was a legal thriller.
Addison's writing style is very similar to Grisham's, jam packed and neatly tied up at the end.
I would have preferred had he focused on one sister's ordeal. Sita's story was so strong and well done, he could have just focused only on her.

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mathmami Jun 21, 2014

human trafficking in india

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