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The Garden of Burning Sand by Corban Addison
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The Garden of Burning Sand

by Corban Addison

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Sometimes I need to read a book that tells the story of a group of people who give their all to do good despite everything the powerful and corrupt do to stop them. The Garden of Burning Sand was perfect for the job.

Corban Addison has the welcome knack of honestly portraying brutality without being graphic. In doing so, he tells us some home truths: the prevalence of child rape in sub-Saharan Africa, and the uphill battle to eradicate AIDs. When all the evidence Zoe and the others gathered in Kuyeya's case went to trial, I didn't really expect the outcome-- partially because everyone concerned put their lives in very real danger by fighting for this child.

The story in The Garden of Burning Sand is compelling, the setting puts the reader right in the middle of the action, and the characters make you want to take the next flight to join in their fight. I will certainly be looking for more books by Corban Addison. ( )
  cathyskye | Jul 17, 2017 |
This would make a good book club read as it is a good story with lots of issues to discuss. This is the story of an American lawyer working in Zambia. Her father is running for president of the U.S. and she has a conflict of values with him that has left their relationship strained. This relationship brings forward issues of wealth distribution, loyalty and generosity. She is dealing with a child rape case -- a case that bring forward issues of justice, disabled rights, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa. The story is well told, the characters ring true. I'd read more by Mr. Addison for sure. ( )
  LynnB | Feb 14, 2017 |
Corban Addison’s first book, A Walk Across the Sun, dealt with the issue of young girls being abducted for the purpose of prostitution. In The Garden of Burning Sand, his second novel, he moves his setting to the continent of Africa and tackles the horrific crime of child rape. The main character is Zoe Fleming, a young American lawyer working through the Coalition of International Legal Advocates in Zambia. She becomes involved in a child rape case and working with Joseph Kabuta, a Zambian police officer they embark on a quest to find the perpetrator.

Their investigation leads them through Zambia and into the cities of both Johannesburg and Cape Town. The evidence points them toward a powerful family that has deep ties with the Zambian government. Frustrated with systemic corruption and bureaucratic inertia at every turn, they soon also find themselves in danger as this powerful family moves to protect one of their own.

Along with being a writer, Corban Addison is a litigation attorney, and appears to know very well of what he writes. I found this book moved along at an excellent pace and was interesting and informative without sacrificing any aspect of the story. I will be looking for the next offering from this author as I am eager to see what issue he will tackle next. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Sep 7, 2015 |
i read this page turner in two days. I am a fan of books taking place in Africa. This book took me to Zambia and the culture there of HIV ignorance, rape and the judicial system all wrapped up in a gripping human rights based novel. So many important themes came through in this entertaining novel, themes of sexual assault in sub- Saharan Africa, myths of children with disabilities, HIV / Aids stigma entrenched in African culture and the need for DNA testing in court trails. All this in a vastly entertaining novel. Well done. ( )
  Smits | Jul 7, 2014 |
Last Spring I was in a class that focused heavily on the issues surrounding the continent of Africa. There were a lot of misconceptions, there was a lot of ignorance (myself included) and there was quite a bit of curiosity. We watched movies, read short stories by South African authors, and were each assigned one country to thoroughly research - both the history as well as current events. I was given the country of Nigeria - an assignment that has awakened a love for Nigerian literature (I just wish it wasn't so hard to come by). The Garden of Burning Sand by Corban Addison is a story involving Zambia, a country is in the southern part of Africa. Much like many of the other countries on the continent, Zambia struggles with corrupted politicians, massive amounts of crimes, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic - although the improvements in the last area are intense.

Read the rest of this review at The Lost Entwife on April 25, 2014. ( )
  TheLostEntwife | Apr 21, 2014 |
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When a girl with Down syndrome is sexually assaulted in a Lusaka slum, human rights lawyer Zoe Fleming and Zambian police officer Joseph Zabuta conduct an investigation that reveals a link between the victim and a powerful local family.

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