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Border Child: A Novel by Michel Stone
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Border Child: A Novel

by Michel Stone

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As a parent, what would you do to make sure your child had the best life possible? Or rather, is there anything you would not do? This is the question at the heart of the immigrant story of Border Child by Michel Stone. The writing beautifully draws me into Héctor and Lilia's world - all emotions that parents everywhere relate to. Best of all, the book leaves me thinking. What would I do? Faced with Héctor and Lilia's impossible decision, what would I do?

Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/04/border-child.html

Reviewed for NetGalley. ( )
  njmom3 | Apr 27, 2017 |
This is a very timely and heartfelt short novel. Hector and Lilia always dreamed of a better life for their family. This meant crossing the Mexican border for the United States - a journey that required Lilia to be separated from their infant daughter, a child who subsequently goes missing. Furthermore, Hector and Lilia are then deported from the United States. They still continue to seek their missing daughter, and just may have found her after 4 years. Heartbreaking at times, this book is very well written and well worth the read, especially in the current political environment. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Apr 15, 2017 |
3.5 A timely read in our current political climate, when illegals are being booted out regardless of the citizenship of their children. Highlights both sides of this decision in the plight of Hector and Lilia. Living now in virtual poverty in Oaxaca, Mexico, they have little chance to improve their lives. The opportunities just are not there, loves yes, for their young son and expected child, for each other, but frustration too knowing there is little they can do to change their lives.

They had made it North once, but this ended in a catastrophe beyond measure, and now new information presents itself, and they hope to correct a terrible wrong. One cannot help but feel for this couple, they are very likable. They want what so many of us have and many of us take for granted. This book shows the similarities, not just the differences.

The high cost, not just of money, trusting their lives to coyotes that prey upon people desperate to cross the border. The desire for better, the high hopes. This is a continuation of the novel, The Iguana Tree, though I don't feel it is necessary to read that one first. The author does a good job of filling in the back story. Of course the emotional intensity is not there, not the same impact as if the first one had been read. A good book that shows there are real people and lives behind the immigration debate, not just numbers on a piece of paper.

ARC from publisher.
Publishes April 4th from Nan A. Talese. ( )
  Beamis12 | Mar 11, 2017 |
Hector and Lilia are parents of an infant daughter, Alejandra, when Hector immigrates to the United States with the hope of establishing a better life for his family. Lilia foolishly decides not to wait until Hector finds a job and home in the US and makes her own plans to immigrate. Tragically, she is separated from Alejandra at the border. They are unable to find Alejandra who has disappeared with no trace.

The book picks up four years later when they are back in Mexico. Lilia and Hector now have a young son and Lilia is expecting their third child. They have never given up the hope of finding Alejandra. When they learn of a tip that may lead to finding their daughter, Hector leaves his family to try to find Alejandra.

The author does an excellent job of bringing the reader into the lives of this fragile family. Lilia carries so much guilt over her decision to immigrate on her own. The grief, guilt, blame and worry that she and Hector endure over the loss of Alejandra have put a wedge between them but you can still see their love for each other. As Hector searches for Alejandra, he takes on illegal jobs to pay for his travels. He appears completely naïve about these jobs, which I found a bit unbelievable, but I could understand his desperation. The end of the book wasn’t unexpected but it still brought tears to my eyes.

One thing that I didn’t expect was the reaction of Lilia and Hector’s neighbors and friends when they return to Mexico. Hector and Lilia were shunned by the Mexican people as they believed that Hector and Lilia thought they were better than the other Mexicans and were too good to stay in Mexico and even that they had deserted their country. I would have thought that the people who stayed behind would have understood Hector and Lilia’s desire to make a better life for themselves but they seemed to feel betrayed.

Recommended.

This book was given to me by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review. ( )
  hubblegal | Mar 11, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michel Stoneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Durán, ArmandoNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garcia, KylaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385541643, Hardcover)

For Héctor and Lilia, pursuit of the American Dream became every parent's worst fear when their infant daughter vanished as they crossed from Mexico to the United States—now they must try to get her back. With great empathy and a keen awareness of current events, Michel Stone delivers a novel of surpassing sensitivity and heart.

Young lovers Héctor and Lilia dreamed of a brighter future for their family in the United States. Héctor left Mexico first, to secure work and housing, but when Lilia, desperate to be with Héctor, impetuously crossed the border with their infant daughter, Alejandra, mother and child were separated. Alejandra disappeared. Now, four years later, the family has a chance to reunite, but the trauma of the past may well be permanent.
     Back in their sleepy hometown of Oaxaca, the couple enjoys a semblance of normal life, with a toddler son and another baby on the way. Then they receive an unexpected tip that might lead them to Alejandra, and both agree they must seize this chance, whatever the cost. Working increasingly illegal jobs to earn money for his journey north, Héctor seeks more information about his long-absent daughter. Meanwhile, a bedridden Lilia awaits the birth of their third child, but cannot keep herself from reliving the worst mistakes of her past. In luminous, compassionate prose, Michel Stone drops readers into the whirlwind of the contemporary immigrant experience, where a marriage is strained to the breaking point by the consequences of wanting more for the next generation.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 05 Dec 2016 15:07:22 -0500)

"For Hector and Lilia, pursuit of the American Dream became every parent's worst fear: their infant daughter vanished in the midst of their border crossing from Mexico to the United States. With great empathy and a keen awareness of current events, Michel Stone delivers a novel of surpassing sensitivity and heart. Years ago, young lovers Hector and Lilia dreamed of a brighter future for their family in the United States. Hector left Mexico first, to secure work and housing, but when Lilia, desperate to be with Hector, impetuously crossed the border with their infant daughter, Alejandra, mother and child were separated, and Alejandra was never returned to her parents. Now, four years later, the family finally has a chance for reunion, but the damage wreaked by their traumatic separation may well be irreparable. After that disastrous border crossing, Hector and Lilia lived and worked in South Carolina for several years before a misunderstanding with immigration officials forced their return to their sleepy hometown of Oaxaca, in Southern Mexico. Their perspectives permanently altered, the pair has at last achieved relative equilibrium, with a toddler son and another baby on the way, when they receive an unexpected tip that might lead them to Alejandra. Working increasingly illegal jobs to earn money for his journey north, Hector goes in search of answers about his long-absent daughter. Meanwhile, in Hector's absence, a bedridden Lilia awaits the birth of their third child, but cannot keep herself from reliving the worst mistakes of her past. In luminous, compassionate prose, Michel Stone renders a landscape of shifted expectations, a marriage put to an unimaginable test, and the consequences of wanting more for the next generation "--… (more)

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