Ahalya Ghai and her younger sister Sita are as close as sisters can be. But their loving and secure childhood ends abruptly one day when a tsunami rips through their village on India's Coromandel coast. Their home is swept away, and Ahalya and Sita are the sole survivors of their family. Destitute, their only hope is to find refuge at a convent in Chennai, many miles away. A driver agrees to take them. But the moment they get into that car their fate is sealed. The two sisters - confused, alone, totally reliant on each other - are sold. Worse, they are separated.
On the other side of the world, Washington lawyer Thomas Clarke is struggling to cope after the death of his baby daughter and the collapse of his marriage to Priya. He takes a sabbatical from his high-pressure job and accepts a position with the Bombay branch of an international anti-trafficking group.
Thomas is now on a path that not only involves saving himself and his marriage, but the lives of two sisters who cannot bear to be apart. Spanning the globe, A Walk Across the Sun is an unforgettable tale of the transformative power of love, even in the face of unimaginable obstacles.
In his debut novel, lawyer Addison uncovers the labyrinthine underside of human trafficking in this dazzling transcontinental story about the power of conviction, the bonds of family, and the tenacity of love. After a tsunami in India tragically orphans 17-year old Ahalya Ghai and her 15-year-old sister, Sita, the girls are kidnapped and taken to a Mumbai brothel where their nightmare begins. Meanwhile, D.C.-based attorney Thomas Clarke faces marital and career crises. His wife, Priya, returns to her family in India when her grandmother dies, Thomas's demanding legal career and the SIDS death of their infant daughter having taken their toll. Assuming the blame for a headline-grabbing legal debacle, Thomas accepts his firm's offer to take a paid sabbatical and work on a pro bono case overseas. He ends up in Mumbai working for CASE (Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation). When CASE comes to rescue Ahalya, the sisters are separated, and Sita must go to Paris (and later, America) as a drug mule, as her owners try to elude their pursuers. In addition to Ahalya and Sita's timely story, Addison's portrait of Thomas and Priya's tenuous relationship skillfully reveals the difficulty of inter-cultural marriage. The novel successfully explicates the magnitude of the human trafficking business, the complexities of international legalities, and the impact of the Internet's role in this horrifying underworld.