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.
Review of A Harvest of Throrns
A Harvest of Thorns by Corban Addison is the story of one man’s conscience against a multi-billion dollar business. Cameron Anderson, Senior VP and general counsel to Presto, a multi-billion dollar corporation, likes his job and the daily challenges, money and prestige it provides. But when a fire in a supply factory breaks out, killing and seriously injuring many of its workers in Bangladesh, Presto becomes the target and an ugly media blitz soon follows. Cameron, wanting to save the reputation of the company as well as discover the cause of the fire, embarks on a difficult and painful journey that uncovers more than he bargained for. It appears Presto’s Code of Conduct has been violated in many of its supply chains in several countries. In addition to the long hours, cramped quarters and unsafe factory conditions Cameron finds forced labor, human trafficking and sexual assault to be the norm in many of the factories that supply garments to Presto.
Determined to right these wrongs, a Presto employee secretly enlists the aid of Joshua Griswold, a disgraced Pulitzer Prize writer caught in his own scandal of sorts. Feeding him just enough information, he leads Joshua to the far corners of the world to uncover the illegal and disgraceful world of modern day sweat shops and the very lives of the poor they affect. Knowing the potential this information has to bring down a major corporation and an American brand, both Presto employee and Josh work together to stop the corruption and promote ethical practices for the future both here and abroad.
Corban Addison has created a beautiful cast of characters in A Harvest of Thorns. Cameron from the beginning commanded attention. His struggle with his conscience and the loyalty to his best friend and CEO was complex and fascinating to watch. Josh and the cast he enlists to assist him overseas in his investigation were heartfelt and compelling. The factory workers they encountered and interviewed broke my heart. I found myself cheering them on to defend themselves against a corporation and a system of corruption both here and abroad. The book although fiction, was an eye opener. The information that the author gave at the end of the book in his notes was disturbing to say the least. To know that some of these conditions still exist today was mind boggling. I found myself doing internet searches for companies that are transparent and willing to disclose where there garments are made and where they come from. As consumers and fellow human beings we all need to be more aware and conscious of where we shop and how our goods are being made.
A Harvest of Thorns by Corban Addison is an exciting drama and a must read for everyone. It grabs you from the beginning and doesn’t let go till the very end. Filled with raw emotion the reader will be swept away cheering for justice to be served.
I want to thank Thomas Nelson – Fiction via NetGalley for an advanced copy of A Harvest of Thorns for a fair and honest review.
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