I mean REALLY sad. As in, the tsunami that wipes out Ahlaya and Sita’s entire family and leaves them homeless orphans is not the most tragic thing that happens in this story. In fact, that happens in the first chapter. What follows is a downward spiral of kidnapping, rape, smuggling and terror as these girls are “trafficked” from person to person, country to country.
But don’t let any of that scare you away. Corban Addison has also written something beautiful and touching and honest. The inner strength present in these characters is inspiring. Plus, Addison does an admirable job of drawing the truth out without preaching.
He uses an American attorney, Thomas Clarke, to uncover the clues, chase the bad guys and provide a counterpoint to the girls’ tragedy. He starts out as a fairly self-centered guy, going to India only because he has no choice, but the plight of these victims moves him in a very real way.
“In places like this, it’s hard to imagine that the world can be so ugly,’ Thomas said.
‘This is how it was meant to be,’ Priya replied. ‘The ugliness is our own fault.”
Yes, it’s socially responsible literature, but it’s not manipulative. I mean, seriously. Who would disagree that human trafficking is 100% evil? Addison does not shy away from the graphic or gruesome details of this atrocity, but somehow he never pushes too hard or too far.
The bottom line is simple –
“Traffickers will stop when men stop buying women.”
Socially responsible fiction has its place in bringing issues to light. This book did that for me.