"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

06 July 2017

2017 Book Review #20: The Garden of Burning Sand

I'm infatuated with this author!

This is my 2nd book I've chosen from the library by him and I just love the topics he writes about.  He writes about humanitarian issues going on in today's world and although the stories are fiction, they are based or inspired by real life situations.


Zoe Fleming is the daughter of Jack Fleming, a senator who is running for President of the United States.  Her mother, Catherine, died several years ago and was an inspiration to Zoe regarding her work with the under-served in South Africa, particularly Zambia (sub-Saharan Africa).  Her father is now re-married to Sylvia whom Zoe doesn't really get along with.  Zoe has a brother named Trevor with whom she is very close yet rarely sees as she works in Zambia and he has an office in Washington, D.C.

Zoe is a human rights attorney and has made a good life for herself in Zambia despite the fact that she has a dark secret from her past when she was just 17 years old.  Her father is estranged from her and she prefers it that way as he betrayed her and she still has much rage towards that event. She has spoken of it to no one, not even Trevor.

Zoe learns of a sexual assault of a young girl with Down Syndrome named Kuyeya (meaning "memory") who is left alone in the middle of the night to wander the streets of the Lusaka slums.  Zoe joins police officer Joseph Kabuta in investigating this rape.

They begin to put together some clues from the victim's past and it leads them to a very powerful and wealthy Zambian family.  This family will stop at nothing in order to bury the truth....including murder!

Zoe and Joseph form a bond of friendship, then romance and trust.  They are opposed on all sides, and caught in a clash between justice and power.  They need to successfully prosecute Kuyeya's attacker but to do so means Zoe must risk her life...and her heart...and face her own dark past.  The past that she thought she had left behind.


I really enjoyed learning about the plight of the young special needs children and women in Zambia, Africa.  This author really knows how to capture a reader and  teach us about the various needs socially, politically, morally, ethically, financially, and medically.

I love how he develops each character's personality so that it seems you know the character....the characters seem so real!

The book is fast paced and thorough in regards to the topic of sexual exploitation of women and children in Africa as well as the AIDS crisis and the poverty/prostitution issues, along with special needs children and their own issues in all of these.

I really like how the book wrapped everything up and that justice was served.

A couple of good quotes:

"Life is a broken thing.  It's what we do with the pieces that defines us." (pg 258, The Garden of Burning Sand, by Corban Addison, c. 2013)

"Human problems must be met with human compassion.  The person, not the system, must be preeminent." (pg. 398, The Garden of Burning Sand by Corban Addison, c. 2013) 


"Give yourself as a gift to others, and you will know a joy that never fails." (pg.399, The Garden of Burning Sand, by Corban Addison, c.2013) 

Hopefully, our government will not turn a blind eye to these issues in other countries...we take so much for granted here in the USA, and this author really points us to what human beings endure in these under-developed places.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older (due to some mature content).

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 10.

1 comment:

Susanne said...

Sounds interesting. Have never heard of this author