For all children everywhere, but especially for the millions in slavery.
I am one of those people who likes to live in a bubble, to think that everywhere in the world all children are nurtured, loved and protected. That their needs are met. They are free to run and play and given opportunities to learn. That they are encouraged in their giftedness and have all the cuddles they need. That they enjoy a warm bath and meal at night, a clean bed to sleep in. Maybe even on Fridays, a treat and movie night. Where children have every expectation that if they work hard at school, they can pave the way towards a secure economic future.
But Corban Addison popped my bubble, by stealth. The line that hooked me was, 'Behind every novel is a story—a story of a writer captured by an idea that will not let him go.' I read on out of interest in the writer's process and was confronted with the grim reality of millions of children. It's haunting. But more than that, it is important.
I read an interview with Marilynne Robinson once where she said something to the effect that the greatest challenge is to recognise an issue and write about it in real time, as it is happening. That's what made To Kill A Mocking Bird so controversial and powerful. Harper Lee wrote about racism in the south at the same time as Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat and the civil rights movement was born. It is confronting to read about the injustice faced by characters you care for, knowing that the issue is contemporary and you can choose to do something about it.
That is what Corban Addison does in his book, A Walk Across The Sun. He confronts us with ugly issues that are happening right now through the story of two sisters, orphaned by a tsunami, who go in search of help and are, instead, abducted by human traffickers.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
'A novel that is beautiful in its story and also important in its message, A Walk Across the Sun deserves a wide audience.' John Grisham
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