The Garden of Burning Sand: Book Bite Review

The Garden of Burning Sand book coverConsider this read a Main Course Book Bite due to content:

2011 in Zambia, Africa, a young girl with Down syndrome wanders out of her house and into the dangerous night. She is drugged, raped, and then returned. A group of individuals dedicated to fighting human rights abuses called the Coalition of International Legal Advocates (CILA) dive in to help discover who violated the girl, and how to go about prosecuting the rapist for the crime. However, several things stand in their way to prove that such a crime happened; Africans view the child as a curse, not a person. The child is a daughter of a dead prostitute. If the child is sixteen years old, she isn’t seen as having been raped, and even with DNA evidence, most courts don’t approve of proof beyond an adult witness’s account.

Zoe Fleming is an American working for the CILA and develops an attachment to the young girl. While investigating, the rapist is discovered as belonging to a wealthy and prominent family with ties to the judicial system. After narrow escapes, car chases, and multiple attempts on her life, can Zoe find justice for the girl who has captured her heart?

Corban Addison’s novel, The Garden of Burning Sand, is an intelligent and insightful look at Africa, the attitudes of the people, the AIDS epidemic, and a world that still struggles with the combination of tradition (long recognized mystical practices) and science. The landscape, as well as the language Addison uses, tells an incredible story within its 400 pages that will leave any reader transfixed and wanting more.

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