Synopsis: In Dhaka, Bangladesh, a garment factory burns to the ground, claiming the lives of hundreds of workers, mostly young women. Amid the rubble, a bystander captures a heart-stopping photograph—a teenage girl lying in the dirt, her body broken by a multi-story fall, and over her mouth a mask of fabric bearing the label of one of America’s largest retailers, Presto Omnishops Corporation.
Eight thousand miles away, at Presto’s headquarters in Virginia, Cameron Alexander, the company’s long-time general counsel, watches the media coverage of the fire in horror, wondering if the damage can be contained. When the photo goes viral, fanning the flames of a decades old controversy about sweatshops, labor rights, and the ethics of globalization, he launches an investigation into the disaster that will reach farther than he could ever imagine – and threaten everything he has left in the world.
A year later, in Washington, D.C., Joshua Griswold, a disgraced former journalist from the Washington Post, receives an anonymous summons from a corporate whistleblower who offers him confidential information about Presto and the fire. For Griswold, the challenge of exposing Presto’s culpability is irresistible, as is the chance, however slight, at redemption. Deploying his old journalistic skills, he builds a historic case against Presto, setting the stage for a war in the courtroom and in the media that Griswold is determined to win—both to salvage his reputation and to provoke a revolution of conscience in Presto’s boardroom that could transform the fashion industry across the globe.
My Thoughts: This book took me some time to get through as it was more of a cerebral read. It was an extremely important book for Americans to read and very interesting, but it wasn’t an enjoyable book for me. This was difficult at times as I tend to read more for pleasure and to escape.
The subject matter was something that really made me think and I will continue to think about it when I purchase clothes and other items that are produced in other countries. It’s easy to live in our little first world bubbles and “forget” about the things that are happening in the world around us. The story made me uncomfortable and sad, especially when finding out that it’s loosely based on true events that have occurred in the past and are without a doubt occurring at this very moment.
I had a bit of trouble with the writing style, the pacing seemed to be disjointed at times. One thing I loved was the atmospheric quality to the story…the reader travels around the world and each place is described vividly.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this story to everyone. It definitely isn’t a “happy” read but it’s definitely an important story.
I received this book from Booklook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.