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A Harvest of Thorns by Corban Addison
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A Harvest of Thorns

by Corban Addison

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Novel sheds a light on where our clothes come from. Inspired by the fire in Bangladesh in 1997,

In Dhaka, Bangladesh, a garment factory burns to the ground, claiming the lives of hundreds of workers, mostly young women. Amid the rubble, a bystander captures a heart-stopping photograph—a teenage girl lying in the dirt, her body broken by a multi-story fall, and over her mouth a mask of fabric bearing the label of one of America’s largest retailers, Presto Omnishops Corporation.

Eight thousand miles away, at Presto’s headquarters in Virginia, Cameron Alexander, the company’s long-time general counsel, watches the media coverage of the fire in horror, wondering if the damage can be contained. When the photo goes viral, fanning the flames of a decades old controversy about sweatshops, labor rights, and the ethics of globalization, he launches an investigation into the disaster that will reach farther than he could ever imagine - and threaten everything he has left in the world.

A year later, in Washington, D.C., Joshua Griswold, a disgraced former journalist from the Washington Post, receives an anonymous summons from a corporate whistleblower who offers him confidential information about Presto and the fire. For Griswold, the challenge of exposing Presto’s culpability is irresistible, as is the chance, however slight, at redemption. Deploying his old journalistic skills, he builds a historic case against Presto, setting the stage for a war in the courtroom and in the media that Griswold is determined to win—both to salvage his reputation and to provoke a revolution of conscience in Presto’s boardroom that could transform the fashion industry across the globe. (less) ( )
  Smits | Jul 8, 2017 |
Do we really know where and under which conditions our clothes are made? Do we even question ourselves….I admit to simply look at labels to see where it is made and that is the limit of my curiosity till now. After reading Mr. Addison latest novel where he takes us on a journey tracking a brand of clothing across the world I may think twice before purchasing my clothes in the future but again rarely do I see clothes made in my country reasonably priced so what choice do I have?….. Based on real-life events, this fiction begins with a fire in a clothing factory in Bangladesh and follows a large American company's reaction. It also addresses the reality of sweat shops, slave labor and the rights of workers in developing countries.

The chapters alternate from the perspective of Cameron Alexander, general counsel for the company (Presto) and those of Josh Griswold, a disgrace journalist as they dig deep into the many issues in front of them. As the story moves on, we have some very emotional chapters told through the eyes of people working in factories. The narrative voices are thorough and intellectual, complete with refine vocabulary. With firsthand knowledge of law and journalistic inside we find a plot that flows smoothly and is well- informed. At its heart “A Harvest of Thorns” is a story of two men fighting for what they believe is right and decent while fighting an inner turmoil that is shaking their lives…

After long hours of research, Mr. Addison has created a thought-provoking story where he goes into fine details about the fire and how the people made their fateful decision to break through windows. ”A Harvest of Thorns” was inspired by the 2012 Tazreen fashions factory fire in Bangladesh where more than a 100 workers died and more than 200 were injured.

Mr. Corban, an attorney and human right activist uses fiction to explore social justice themes. In the past he has touched the international sex trade in “A Walk Across the Sun”, the lawless coast of Somalia in “The Tears of Dark Water” and in “The Garden of Burning Sands” the epidemic of child sexual assault in Zambia.

All his stories are eye opening and very captivating. ( )
  Tigerpaw70 | Jul 7, 2017 |
Really liked it. ( )
  SeasideBookClub | May 23, 2017 |
A LOOK AT THE WORKING CONDITIONS IN SOME OF THE COUNTRIES THAT MANUFACTURE CLOTHING FOR THE US. SOME VERY DEPLORABLE SITUATIONS EXIST AND THIS BOOK SHEDS LIGHT ON SOME OF THE PEOPLE AND FAMILIES WHO ARE CAUGHT IN THE NEED TO MAKE A LIVING FOR THEM AND THEIR FAMILIES. MANY PEOPLE ARE HURT AND KILLED DUE TO WORKING CONDITIONS. ( )
  CheryleFisher | Apr 26, 2017 |
With a powerful beginning I knew this book was going to be an emotionally charged story. It is gritty and messy with details that can shock people at times. We know things go on in factories all over the world that are unfair , yet we turn the other way and refuse to address it. That is until the world is stunned by a picture that captures the utter inhumane treatment of workers in a factory far from the United Stated. I loved this book because the author is not afraid to tackle a subject that is deplorable and sickening to see. Is it worth buying clothes from a company at the cost of a human life?

With every big company comes power and sometimes greed. Some of the bigwigs ignore the rules in order to make more money. When Cameron was first introduced I wasn't sure if I liked him or not. Would he do the right thing and make workers feel safe? The horrors that take place in one of the company's factories made me cry. To think that a young woman must do the unthinkable to keep her job is so disheartening. From the back streets there is human trafficking, rape and so much underhanded money deals that makes the story jump off the pages. Perhaps some of the language was a bit unsettling but I think for this type of story it was a realistic view of what really goes on.

I appreciate that the author doesn't sugarcoat anything, but goes full force into the world of big corporation vs the deplorable treatment of humans. Josh is a journalist who has a story that can take down many people , but can he do it without putting himself in danger? In the courtroom the story will put that fear on some and others will scream for justice. Who will win? Will the real traitor stand up and take punishment? Can the judicial system give the plaintiffs cause to celebrate? The writing is aggressive and takes us all over the world to expose the men and women who are greedy enough to sacrifice lives to get ahead. What will be the final verdict? Grab a copy and find out who will be the victor in this action packed thriller.

I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild. The review is my honest opinion. ( )
  Harley0326 | Apr 16, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0718042387, Hardcover)

A beloved American corporation with an explosive secret. A disgraced former journalist looking for redemption. A corporate executive with nothing left to lose.

In Dhaka, Bangladesh, a garment factory burns to the ground, claiming the lives of hundreds of workers, mostly young women. Amid the rubble, a bystander captures a heart-stopping photograph—a teenage girl lying in the dirt, her body broken by a multi-story fall, and over her mouth a mask of fabric bearing the label of one of America’s largest retailers, Presto Omnishops Corporation.

Eight thousand miles away, at Presto’s headquarters in Virginia, Cameron Alexander, the company’s long-time general counsel, watches the media coverage of the fire in horror, wondering if the damage can be contained. When the photo goes viral, fanning the flames of a decades old controversy about sweatshops, labor rights, and the ethics of globalization, he launches an investigation into the disaster that will reach farther than he could ever imagine—and threaten everything he has left in the world.

A year later, in Washington, D.C., Joshua Griswold, a disgraced former journalist from the Washington Post, receives an anonymous summons from a corporate whistleblower who offers him confidential information about Presto and the fire. For Griswold, the challenge of exposing Presto’s culpability is irresistible, as is the chance, however slight, at redemption. Deploying his old journalistic skills, he builds a historic case against Presto, setting the stage for a war in the courtroom and in the media that Griswold is determined to win—both to salvage his reputation and to provoke a revolution of conscience in Presto’s boardroom that could transform the fashion industry across the globe.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 29 Nov 2016 18:01:47 -0500)

A beloved American corporation with an explosive secret. A disgraced former journalist looking for redemption. A corporate executive with nothing left to lose. When a garment factory fire Dhaka, Bangladesh claims the lives of hundreds of workers, mostly young women, a bystander captures a heart-stopping photograph: a teenage girl lying in the dirt, her body broken by a multi-story fall, and over her mouth a mask of fabric bearing the label of one of America's largest retailers, Presto Omnishops Corporation. When the photo goes viral, an investigation into the disaster sets the stage for a war in the courtroom and in the media that could transform the fashion industry across the globe.… (more)

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