Border Child by Michel Stone
Stone’s second novel is a real tear-jerker.
Set in Mexico, a young family struggles with the loss of their first child. Separated in a tragic series of events, they don’t know if she is alive or dead, or where she might be. After several years, hints arise, and Héctor is off to try to find his daughter.
The tension is high throughout, as we ache with Lilia and Héctor, hoping that they may find their Alejandra, and fearing what they may learn. We also share their love and fears for their son and unborn daughter.
Héctor and Lilia were devastated by the earlier accident, and their hopes for life and their children’s lives have been beaten down by those events. But when hope resurfaces, they rise to the occasion, no matter how daunting the odds.
Héctor’s resolve to do anything to find his daughter is frightening. Such desperate need makes him take risks that may end in catastrophe.
As the title suggests, the US-Mexico border, la linea, plays a huge role in the lives and the psychology of this family. El norte is both an attraction for hopes and dreams, and the scene of danger, tragedy, and crushing loss.
Despite the hardships and incomprehensible pain of a lost child, Héctor and Lilia do find gratitude for the good things they have. There is beauty, if not peace, to be found in their village and everywhere in Mexico, and even in El Norte. And there are good people to be found, though it can be hard to see who is good, or trust each other.
This is a beautiful story, though I think the story isn’t finished.
- Michel Stone, Border Child, New York, Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 2017.
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