Border Child by Michel Stone
Book Review – 4 out of 5 star rating
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.
This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.