Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Harvest of Thorns - book review

I have to admit that I don't often think about where are how my clothes are made, but A Harvest of Thorns by Corban Addison has my curiosity peaked!

This fiction story that begins with a fire in a clothing factory in Bangladesh and follows a large American company's (Presto) reaction is quite an eye-opener as it exposes the garment industry for using underpaid (and sometimes) enslaved workers in other countries to produce products at minimal cost. This story addresses the issues of sweatshops, labor rights, and the ethics of globalization in a well-written, easy-to-read (despite the issues addressed) book.

The chapters alternate between the investigations of Cameron Alexander, general counsel for Presto, and Josh Griswold, a disgraced journalist with a heart for the poor and gullible, as they uncover the truth about working conditions in factories in several developing countries. In one interesting chapter, Josh interviews people waiting to shop at Presto on Black Friday, asking how the fire and working conditions in other countries affect their buying decisions. In most cases, the consumers aren't concerned with those issues.

The book is based on similar real-life events and has reminded me of how little we sometimes know and understand what goes in to bring us the vast array of products in the stores in our cities! I definitely recommend this thought-provoking book (which I received free from Booklook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review).


  1. The horrible fires in the clothing factories in Bangladesh brought all that home to me. I try to watch the tags in the clothes I buy, but I know I'm guilty of buying items that have been produced under less than desirable circumstances.

  2. Thanks for this. I'll add this book to my list. It sounds like it would be perfect for my book club. Much to discuss.


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