A Harvest of Thorns

A Harvest of Thorns

by Corban Addison


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A Harvest of Thorns 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. Addison ' s research is impeccable and his writing excellent. Despite being based on a heavy subject, this novel is so readable. It will change you. Do not miss it.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous 7 months ago
A wakeup story about the garment industry and the secrets behind closed doors. Hopefully changes have been made for the better. Well written and informative.
ksnapier475 More than 1 year ago
A Harvest of ThornsI was given this book by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Many young women die in a garment factory fire in Bangladesh. In the aftermath a picture of a teenager is taken. This young girl has a fabric with Presto Omnishops Corporation on it. This is one of the largest retailers in America. In its headquarters a man, Cameron Alexander, watches the news coverage of the incident. He watches at the picture of the girl is everywhere making people wonder about the ethics of the company. Alexander starts an investigation which will lead him down paths that could devastate his world. A reporter, a year later, receives information about the company and the fire. This is all Joshua Griswold needs to cover a story that could save his career from former disgrace. The story was developed well as the author begins with a central story and then builds each character from there. It is a sobering story that gives insight in the garment industry. The real world settings helped me to see the world in a different light. A very good book. The author is incredibly adept at developing a core story and then feeding in the personal stories of his characters to enhance the narrative. Cameron has a tragic backstory that makes his determination to right the wrongs all that more understandable. The writing feels very real and it is often very sobering in its content. He is informative too, who know that “...the production of textiles was one of the most prolific sources of water pollution the world”? I think of the author in terms of John Grisham “light”. I find Grisham’s stories at times hard to penetrate, and so Addison’s storylines feel that much more accessible. They are set in a real world where there is dreadful exploitation and injustice. He is an author who will take up a cause and bring it to a wider audience with great panache. An author with a social conscience. Having read this novel we will all surely think more carefully about the origin of our clothing? If this book is anything to go by, it behoves us to do so! The locations in the novel feel credible too, whether dining in Old Ebbit Grill near The White House in Washington or Izumi in Dhaka, he manages to create a colourful and absorbing backdrop.
EpicFehlReader More than 1 year ago
This novel will definitely raise the hackles of the socially minded reader. CEO Vance Lawson is a letdown. He outwardly presents himself as an innocent at first, almost likeable in the way he seems to honestly want to know how this tragedy happened and how future incidents can be prevented. He even relates to how the photographed victim appears to be the same age as his own daughter! But it's just sickening how stereotypically self-serving this guy turns out to be. The company's stance is to say that actions leading to the cause of the fire were "in violation of the code of conduct" but virtually no other action is taken beyond that. For history buffs out there, the prologue of this novel may bring to mind the similar (true life) story of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911. There are some commonalities as far as a sketchy, ultimately deadly work environment and CEOs that seriously dropped the ball when it came to protecting their hardworking employees. In fact, in both that real fire and this novel, we see examples of the senseless deaths of hundreds of people because financial greed was chosen over safety and respect for employees. A Harvest of Thorns itself is inspired by a factory fire that did indeed occur in Bangladesh in 2012. This novel is not an exact retelling of that tragedy, but the details of that day and the companies behind that real fire -- Sears, Walmart, Target, Gap... just to name a few -- certainly inspired the characters and settings of this novel, as author Corban Addison explains in his afterword. In 2015, Addison traveled to Bangladesh and interviewed survivors of that 2012 fire, which helped him craft the character and plot development you find in this novel. If you scan the acknowledgements, you might also spot that John Grisham served as a beta reader for A Harvest of Thorns. Though Addison himself is an attorney, it's likely that he also bounced ideas regarding the legal portions of the novel around with Grisham, a former attorney. Ugh. It's a tough read but a perfect one for getting meaty book club discussions going... just prepare yourself for the heat it might bring! While this reader didn't find the writing consistently riveting, it's a solidly important topic that needs to be looked at more often. This novel leaves one with an uncomfortable reminder of just how hard it is, as a consumer, to stay on the right & ethical side of things, no matter how much we may want to... even the seemingly trusty "Made In USA" tag can have its shady roots! Those interested in getting the conversation going will find helpful discussion questions provided within the hardcover edition (and possibly the paperback -- I say hardcover simply because that's the copy I was given). Additionally, you may want to check out the website truecostmovie.com
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
This was quite the exciting story. Corporate intrigue, jornalistic investigations, greed, redemption, death, justice, and so many other things all wrapped up into a very nice package. Based loosely on a true court case, we start at the beginning, with a horrible 'accident' that should have never happened. We follow the investigation of journalist Joshua Griswold as he learns to navigate the tricky waters of several foreign countries. With rules drastically different than the US - bribes, favors, and flat out lies are the best way for him to get information. As Joshua uncovers more and more of what really goes on in the garment factories, a sad story of greed unfolds. I found this story to be incredibly fascinating. The cultured and people shown were brought to life on every page, and there was just enough revealed at every turn to keep me wanting to know more. There were some personal moments woven into the story, and I'm not sure if they were my favorites. While they gave opportunities to learn more about Joshua and the others, they probably my least favorite parts of the story. With an interesting resolution, one that I didn't quite see coming, and an unexpected hero, A Harvest of Thorns was a great story. **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book**
NadineTimes10 More than 1 year ago
A large American corporation. A garment factory fire overseas. Labor rights. Globalization. I wanted to read this novel and get something meaningful and challenging out of it. Instead, I rather felt like I'd been duped. Partly my fault, since I've run into this with a HarperCollins Christian Publishing book in the past, and I'd told myself I'd be more cautious about selecting books from them. (I believe it was a Zondervan book before, while this one is a Thomas Nelson.) Call me old-fashioned, but when I reach for novels from a Christian publisher, I'm not looking for books that contain profanity. I'm just not . Sure, when I knowingly choose to read a secular book, I'll deal with a certain amount of foul language or other content I prefer to avoid, if I find the story and message especially compelling and relevant--that's my choice. But I personally don't see the point of continuing to call yourself a Christian publisher if not all of the novels you're publishing now are Christian Fiction. Yes, yes, I know--different folks' definitions and standards of Christian Fiction are different. The publishers have their business reasons and all. That's fine. But in keeping with my standards as a longtime ChristFic reader, I'll now be choosing Thomas Nelson and Zondervan books based on what I know or have researched about the authors, not based on the publishers' names anymore--since, unfortunately, I can no longer trust what I'm getting from said publishers. This is rare for me when I originally planned to review a book, but I got less than a quarter of the way through this one before I decided not to continue. _________________ BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book, and I've given my honest opinion.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
A garment factory way across the ocean in Bangladesh making clothes for a huge corporation in America catches fire and is pictured on CNN with one of it's workers lying on the ground. Covering her face is a pair of pants with the company's logo front and center displayed where the whole world can see it. Hundreds of people are killed in this fire. There is one exit to this building. Americans are protesting the company and demand something be done. Stocks go down. The Board of Directors are looking for someone to blame. It's not looking good for the company. Soon thereafter, it is Black Friday, the company (one much like WalMart) has other non-clothing items on deep discounts. America storms their stores, buying is at a frenzy. All is forgotten. The company's shares rise back up. The Board of Directors is happy. Everyone is fine. The little girl with the pants on her face is almost blind, can't hear out of one ear and sleeps most of the day. She's about 15 years old and can't work for a living. She is just one of the workers that are part of the story in this book about the travesty of big companies using foreign workers. The book focuses on one man (Cameron) who is high up in one of these companies and finds out just exactly what is going on in his company. Cameron brings it to the table of his CEO and is told that they made it over the bad news of the fire, he needs to let it go. Cameron brings in a journalist, Joshua. Joshua gets involved. He finds more abuse. However, when he goes to Cameron, he doesn't seem to be on the same page he was before? Is Cameron the same Christian man he was before? Or has greed taken him over? Also, at the same time, Joshua has some issues of faith in his life going on. This was a fantastic read. I read it all in one sitting. I could not put it down. I could not believe what was going on with these children, and yes, they were children. Apparently, if you read the back of the book, it is still going on. There are also places and organizations that you can reach out to if you are interested in getting involved in helping in any way. A great read that I would definitely recommend. Thanks to Harper Collins for sending me this book in hopes that I would read and review it.
CaraPutman More than 1 year ago
A Harvest of Thorns is a book that will challenge you and make you reconsider American consumerism. The book follows the aftermath of a tragedy at a foreign garment factory. It feels like a John Grisham novel as it takes you from corporate boardrooms to locations around the world and finally into a courtroom. This story is gripping and has truly made me consider the supply chain effect of where our goods come from, but all within a story that I couldn't put down.
Cynthia181 More than 1 year ago
I received a copy from the Fiction Guild. I was not required to give a favorable review. All thoughts are my own. This book touched on something that I always thought was quite interesting. I understand that some of our clothing companies have outsourced the manufacturing of clothing of their companies. But you would think that was better control on all of the companies. One company was following the rules of watching over the companies but something slipped through and a devistating accident happened at a clothing company in India. I feel for the family both who lost people and that there is so little regard for the workers. But to have it brought to the front also should make sure that there are not underhanded payouts of the officials in other countries. I would recommend this book for someone who wants a very interesting read.
luvnjesus More than 1 year ago
A must read. Heartwrencing. Eye-opener. A Harvest of Thorns reads like it was torn from the latest news headlines. How often do we see tragedy unfold in third world countries at sweat shops where the workers are treated like slaves? Factory workers that make everything we wear for pennies. Factory workers that are in debt to a boss who thinks nothing of raping the girls who work for him. A Harvest of Thorns highlights Human Rights violations that happen everyday only to fill orders that we the consumer demand. The story line is fictional, but indentured servitude occurs in third world countries. The workers are in debt to the agent who hired them before they start working. They are promised empty promises of a better life. Would you wear your favorite pair of jeans if you knew they were made by a girl under the age 13 for pennies in a factory that did not have the best interest of them in mind. Everything we own is made in less than desireable conditions. Mr. Addison did an incredible job of bringing to light what the international fashion industry is all about. You will never look at what is in your closet the same again. Materialism has taken over everyone’s lives, just to put other lives in danger.
KatyMessier More than 1 year ago
For me, reading this book frequently felt like having my heart ripped out, and somehow I loved it. Perspective primarily alternates between Cameron the lawyer and Joshua the journalist but occasionally we get a chapter through the eyes of the people working in these factories. I anticipated this novel to be full of emotion but didn’t expect how deep that would go or how many different issues sweatshops can contain. What made this story so touching for me was the depth of each and every character, even those who worked at Presto. I expected it to be easy to vilify specific people, to find one link in the chain of manufacturing that needs to be fixed. Instead, this story examines how it’s not one store or one area that has become corrupt but an entire system that has evolved in such a way as to not only encourage but reward the abuse of its weakest members. I went in with the anticipation that this would be a book kind of like the movie Philadephia (which I adore). I expected a story of triumph over evil that I could relish in but probably not take to heart in my own life. While there is bit of that triumph in the way this story wraps up, it’s done in a way that addresses the fact that none of the issues addressed are endemic. I felt utterly shocked by the number of topics brought up including child labor, human trafficking, sexual assault, lack of medical care, and chosen ignorance and apathy. My mind wants a single target to shake my finger at but this book doesn’t give me that. I highly encourage everyone to read this story and then discuss it. I don’t know how this will change the way I shop and look at stores but I’m willing to start the conversation with myself and others in a way that I hadn’t even thought of before. Big thanks to both Thomas Nelson and BookLookBloggers for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
bookstoregal More than 1 year ago
This story was a lot more interesting than the last book I read by this author, however, I still find the bad language offensive, especially in a book that is published by a Christian publisher. As I work in a Christian bookstore, I would not bring this book into the store. The story is about labor conditions, especially in other countries-slave labor, terrible working conditions, etc.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
Harsh, brutal, brilliantly written A Harvest of Thorns By Corban Addison A tragic loss of life half-way around the world is about to alter their lives in ways they never imagined. But when a chance photo in the aftermath of a factory fire in Bangladesh implicates American Presto Omnishops Corporation corporate heads will role unless the damage can be contained and quickly. Tasked with determining Presto's ties and potential liabilities to the foreign factory is Cameron Alexander. His search for the truth will lead him into the heart of the beast - third world subcontracted manufacturing. But can he cut through the layered web of lies and the fearful silences that control all? What Cameron discovers is worse than he could have ever imagined. Change must come but timing is everything when it comes to the corporate world. With stockholders and consumers to keep happy the time for change may never come for Presto - until Joshua Griswold comes across information that leads him to Presto's dirty not so little secret. But can he wield his knowledge as a sword to protect the downtrodden worker? Like his previous book Tears of Dark Water Corban Addison creates a story that forces the reader to confront hidden, ugly secrets that will break the heart of most. And the sad part is - this is not a product of his imagination but rather the by-product of an industry that has made the dollar its GOD. Standards, codes of conduct, safety measures are meant to be ignored if the bottom line is on the line and when multinational factors are involved these are easily overlooked. And yet if one truly cares this would be the most grievous sin imaginable. This book is disturbing and haunting and one that will stay with you long after you put it down, I think the following quote from the book sums it up quite perfectly "Unfortunately, this is often the way the world works. This kind of truth is ugly and painful and inconvenient. It doesn't help people pay their bills, or care for their kids, or get a better job, or go on a nice vacation. But the truth is essential.... Across history, the powerful have enriched themselves by exploiting the poor. The only power greater than theirs is the law." (page 228). I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher Thomas Nelson with no expectation of a review positive or otherwise. All opinions expressed are my own.
Ellen-oceanside More than 1 year ago
A HARVEST OF THORNS by Corban Addison. A great story dealing with an overseas clothing business, in Bangladesh, when something terrible goes wrong. Presto Corp got a lot of negative press and photos from it. Presto Is a known name in America, for clothing. They have Cameron a general counsel to launch investigation and to issue damage control. Cameron has great sympathy for the people, and facing morality issues as well. Whistleblower has information about Presto. A summon goes out to Joshua.,a disgraced journalist, from the Washington Post. Courtroom war Joshua is determined to win. The story alternates between Cameron and Joshua, on the investigation. An in depth story, in which a lot of research has been done. Those that like a story that goes beyond the information of the fire, and the media. But touches on the emotion they were dealing with Given ARC by Thomas Nelson for my voluntary review and my honest opinion.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
A Harvest of Thorns is a pretty good read. It is surrounded around a tragic fire in Bangladesh, killing many. This tragedy strikes a major American company. Parts of the book was rather slow but the suspense kept me going. 4 stars
birdladyvm More than 1 year ago
STORY-LINE A HARVEST OF THORNS: A Harvest of Thorns is an intense drama set in several countries. Following the deaths of hundreds in a garment factory fire in Bangladesh, the author Corban Addison, gives the reader a look into the terrible trade of human suffering; in bondage to the mighty dollar. One photograph of a young woman, sprawled on the ground with a brand name pair of pants around her head, gains international notice. An intense investigation by the Presto company in America follows. Cameron Alexander, general counsel, heads the investigation. Secrets and terrible procedures are revealed as Cameron ferrets out the horrible truths. Truths which will turn the reader's stomach. Joshua Griswold, former journalist, disgraced and reviled, receives information which will blow Presto sky-high. Contacted by a whistle-blower, Joshua sets out on journey and the story of a life time. Joshua sees this story has his last chance to redeem his reputation and his soul. Come along with Joshua and Cameron as they uncover the underbelly of the foreign and domestic garment industry with all their dirty laundry. My contemporary suspense fiction novel review of A Harvest of Thorns follows. CHARACTERS, PLOTTING, DEVELOPMENT: Where do I start with this review? What an intensely thought-provoking story of greed at its finest. A Harvest of Thorns is intense, compelling, and will invoke your conscience and question what we are willing to accept for the lowest price garment. Our hunger for cheap material things has created a monster of greed, slavery, inhuman treatment, rape, child labor and much more. Author Addison skillfully reveals the criminal intent and inhumane treatment involved in this industry. Although written as fiction it is obvious the author has done his research into this subject. I found the author's notes at the end of the book informative and enlightening. Addison wove many threads together to form a solid complete novel in A Harvest of Thorns. The pace spot on and his character development skillful, we follow Joshua and Cameron in their intense journey of discovery. With twists and turns, revelations galore, this book will invoke intense emotion in the reader. Are we as a nation and world willing to sacrifice humans for the almighty dollar and the best product at a rock bottom price? Demonstrating the depths we have fallen, Addison skillfully brings the readers conscience to the forefront. Some things are more important than money. Finally, in concluding my contemporary suspense fiction novel review of A Harvest Of Thorns, I found a solid story; intense, drama filled, and thought-provoking. Everyone who shops should read this book and consider the ultimate cost of the product they just brought. The next time you pick up a $3.00 shirt in the big store, think about who made it; and what they had to sacrifice for you to get the item for $3.00 instead of $10.00. A HARVEST OF THORNS RECOMMENDATION: STARS: 4 I would not hesitate to buy this book for my self or a friend. FINALLY, PLEASE NOTE: Additionally, I received this book from the author and chose to voluntarily review the book with an honest contemporary suspense fiction novel review. Lastly, book reviews of any novel are dependent on the book review author’s opinion. Consequently, all book reviews on-line and on my blog, are my opinions. In addition, the ARC did not affect my voluntary contemporary suspense fiction novel review.
summer_no9 More than 1 year ago
A HARVEST OF THORNS Corban Addison This book had a beautifully written with the great story and also important in its massage from all real problem of international human trafficking turning to a modern day. if you love to read a book that had all the story with a drama and unique in its insights into hidden and full of story an experience from Corban Addison. He is a bestselling author of a Walk Across the Sun, The Dark Water, which won the 2016 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Award. Addison’s novels have been published in over 25 countries. An supporter of humanitarian and social justice causes around the world. He lives with his wife and children in Virginia. This book also had a great stories of a good people struggling to do right in the world’s of forgotten place that we are all living. There is no better suited to take you on the ride of your life. In the story there is about the people from the poorest countries on the globe are pressed into working for slave wages to manufacture soft goods to be sold in the most affluent countries like North America and Western Europe. This is a most powerful writing with all the spirit including of love and romance, guilt and suspense all in one story again and again. I highly recommend to everyone must read this book. " I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Blogger in exchange for this review "
Iamlilu More than 1 year ago
A Harvest of Thorns by Corban Addison Rating 4.5.. A beloved American corporation with an explosive secret. A disgraced former journalist looking for redemption. A corporate executive with nothing left to lose. (from the book description) The story begins in the corporate offices of Presto. From there it hopscotches through Asia and the Middle East leTaving a farflung trail. The chapters are headed by date and location so it is imperative that you pay attention to these chapter headings otherwise you will get terribly lost. The story itself is full of background investigative stories and courtroom drama which was both interesting and disturbing at the same time. The writing is well done, the research superb and the characters are believable, albeit, flawed but they are believable. The ending I think will surprise you. I know I was surprised…. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into when I started reading this book. Little did I know. I was totally unprepared for this story to unfold before my eyes as I read each and every word on every single page. The imagery was so vivid that I couldn’t stop reading and yet …and yet I didn’t want to know. Yes, it is fiction; but it is loosely based on facts, real clothing corporations and people giving their lives for barely enough to sustain themselves with food to eat, clothing to wear, basic shelter to live and above all, be able to send money back home…wherever home may have been. All of this so we can have something to buy and to wear and companies make enough profits for their shareholders. No one sees what is behind this paper facade as long as the money keeps rolling in. Other books come to mind that tell of past social injustices such as The Jungle by Upton Sinclair and another not nearly quite as well known, Counting Grace by Elizabeth Winthrop. What is moving is the Author’s Note at the end of the book. READ IT. DO NOT SKIP IT.