Read More, Learn More – July 2011 Book List

Stolen Woman by Kimberly Rae (CreateSpace, 2011)

Stolen Woman, a suspense novel,  is one of the first Christian fiction books focused on human trafficking. After living overseas for many years, the author uses her experiences in Asia to backdrop the story of Stolen Woman, set in Kolkata, India.  The main character, Asha, leaves her home in North Carolina for a summer working with orphans in India. There she meets a 16-year-old trafficked girl who has been stolen from her home and forced into sexual slavery. Asha desperately wants to rescue this girl, but Mark, a 3rd-generation missionary and her boss for the summer, forbids her return to the dangerous area. Certain she is doing the right thing, Asha begins sneaking off the missionary compound to meet with her new friend and plan her escape. When the traffickers get suspicious and Asha’s young friend runs away, Asha sneaks out during the night to help, ignoring the fact that she, too, might become one of the stolen.

More than just an exciting story, Rae is using Stolen Woman as a way to connect caring readers with human trafficking ministries so they can help make a difference. A 2-page spread at the end of Rae’s book highlights Women At Risk International , a non-profit ministry that has been rescuing women and children in foreign countries as well as in the U.S. since its inception in 2006. Many more trafficking rescue outreaches are linked on the book’s website, Stolen Woman.

Kimberly Rae has lived in Bangladesh, Kosovo, Uganda and Indonesia. She now writes from her home in Lenoir, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and two young children. Kimberly has been published over 100 times in books, magazines and periodicals. Stolen Woman is her first novel.

The Berlin Turnpike: A True Story of Human Trafficking in America by Raymond Bechard (Sons of Liberty Press, 2011)

This is a true story of human trafficking in America as told through the testimony of a landmark federal trial which took place at the heart of one of the country’ s wealthiest states, Connecticut, over the course of eight days in 2007. The trial of United States vs. Dennis Paris provides a rare and detailed account of how a specific type of trafficking – commercial sexual exploitation – is thriving because it has left the street corners and entered our homes. This one case contains every element of a crime so reliant on secrecy; shrouded behind a scintillating veil of growing legitimacy. Yet it is buried just below the surface of our culture’s mainstream perception. The myth is that human trafficking of this kind disguises itself as a different monster; an evil face that is easy to recognize. The truth is far more devious and complex. In the shadows of our daily lives, this silent explosion of crime and abuse hides behind a deceptive mask of false innocence and legitimacy. For the first time we will openly examine this heretofore ignored truth with no agenda or motive other than to expose its stark reality. This trip to The Berlin Turnpike will take you to the core of how and where these events take place from the perspective of all those involved: the victims, the police, and the perpetrators. Never before has one story so accurately represented the dangerously magnetic commonalities shared by thousands of roadways, neighborhoods, businesses, publications, private homes, and websites. The Berlin Turnpike: A True Story of Human Trafficking in America, is a compelling expose of the people who live with the realities of commercial sexual exploitation every day.

Having worked in the area of human rights for over two decades, this is Raymond Bechard’s second book on the topic of human trafficking. His first, Unspeakable: The Hidden Truth Behind the World’s Fastest Growing Crime, is an expose of child trafficking in all its forms around the world. Both The Berlin Turnpike and Unspeakable come with a warning from the author. The closer we learn about human trafficking, the uglier it gets. You cannot get close to this topic without getting your hands dirty. For any thinking person, it is impossible to face the truth of it without having it change you. That’s why so few people are willing to even look at it. They want to believe it is something that can be solved easily and quickly. It can’t. While the media treats it as a new problem, it has been in this country for two hundred years. Trafficking is an increasingly accepted part of our culture and it will take generations of healing and understanding to stop it.

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