Saturday, December 5, 2009
Border Crossing by Jessica Lee Anderson
The book "Border Crossing" is a heart breaking story about a teenager who has to deal with many conflicting issues and feels that he has no one to turn to. Manz's lives in Rockhill Texas; he is half- Mexican and half -Anglo; and his biological father was a Mexican who worked in an orchard to provide for Manz and his mother. His father "Loco" was killed in a car accident, which he believes was suicide. Manz's mother Dolores has also gone through many personal traumatic experiences, one being the death of her baby, Gabriel. She is an alcoholic and is so consumed in her own tragedy, that she doesn't notice her sons cry for help, until it's too late. The only time her drinking is under control is when her boyfriend Tom is around. Tom is a truck driver and his job requires for him to be on the road for long periods of time.
Manz's best friend is Jed, whom lives at home with an abusive father. Both boys keep themselves occupied by finding small jobs around their town. They find a summer job rebuilding a fence for a cattle ranch outside town.There Manz meets a girl named Vanessa; she works in the ranch's kitchen. They seem to get along but he isn't sure if he could trust her with his feelings of paranoia.
Manz hears voices, has visions, and feelings of paranoia. He fears that the Border Patrol want to apprehend him. When he sees the Border Patrol officers gathering illegal immigrants, the voices tell him that he's next. His mother notices the signs of mental illness, which are similar to what his father experienced before his fatal accident. She urges Manz to get help but he refuses. The voices keep getting louder and he doesn't know who to turn to for help.
"Border Crossing" is a book about dysfunctional families, illegal immigration and mental illness. It is written in first person narrative, giving readers a vivid impression of what Manz was experiencing with schizophrenia as it worsened.
This was a very interesting book and I highly recommend it. As I read it, I felt the pain and desperation that Manz was feeling as he lost his grip on reality.