A Walk Across the Sun
Summary (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.
Marcie's Review: I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy a book about the sex trade, but I really liked this book. It does describe in detail some of the sordid things that happen to children who are sold into the sex trade, and that is very disturbing and terrible to think about. It was awful to read at the end that the author had based some of these details on real events. But much of the book focused on Thomas's discovery of what was important in his life, and Ahalya and Sita's devotion to each other, and this kept the book from being too depressing. In addition, the descriptions of life in India were beautifully written, revealing both the exotic charm and the seamy underside of life in Mumbai.
I did find myself annoyed with Thomas at times, especially when his wishy-washy personality led him to make bad decisions in his personal life. I think his character would have been more believable, and the book even more interesting, if his relationship with Tera had been left out. It just didn't seem to fit with the rest of him, and it added a layer of complexity and confusion that was unnecessary.
Marcie's Rating: 4.5 stars
Becky's Review: This book was much different than I expected it to be and perhaps that is my fault for not reading the description carefully enough. Because I was expecting something else I didn't enjoy this book as much since I was looking for something deeper and less action based. I wanted more story about Ahalya's and Sita's lives and what happened to them rather than so much about Thomas' life. I didn't feel the character's emotions in the book; they all seemed fairly flat. But again that could be because I thought this book was a different category of book than it really was.
Moving on from my preconceptions, I had a problem with the writing style at the beginning. The sentence fluency seemed very choppy at first. I didn't noticed it once I got into the book further. I did have a hard time putting this book down once the action picked up. I did feel like the story was contrived at times but perhaps it was my "this-doesn't-happen-here" mentality and naivety. I was satisfied by the end but I was left wanting more.
Becky's Rating: 3.5 stars