By the acclaimed author of The Highest Tide, a story of contrary destinies further complicated by the border that separates them.
Six foot eight and severely dyslexic, Brandon Vanderkool has always had an unusual perspective—which comes in handy once his father pushes him off their dairy farm and into the Border Patrol. He used to jump over the ditch into British Columbia but now is responsible for policing a thirty-mile stretch of this largely invisible boundary. Uncomfortable in this uniformed role, he indulges his passion for bird-watching and often finds not only an astonishing variety of species but also a great many smugglers hauling pot into Washington State, as well as potentially more dangerous illegals. What a decade before was a sleepy rural hinterland is now the front line of an escalating war on both drugs and terrorism.
Life on either side of the border is undergoing a similar transformation. Mountaintop mansions in Canada peer down into berry farms that might offer convenient routes into the budding American market, politicians clamor for increased security, surveillance cameras sprout up everywhere and previously law-abiding citizens are tempted to turn a blind eye. Closer to home, Brandon’s father battles disease in his herd, and his mother something far more frightening. Madeline Rousseau, who grew up right across the ditch, has seen her gardening skills turn lucrative, while her father keeps busy by replicating great past inventions, medicating himself and railing against imperialism. And overseeing all is the mysterious masseuse who knows everybody’s secrets.
Rich in characters contending with a swiftly changing world and their own elusive hopes and dreams, Border Songs is at once comic and tender and momentous—a riveting portrait of a distinctive community, an extraordinary love story and fiction of the highest order.
From the Hardcover edition.
The everyday lives of the citizens of a pair of border towns--one in Canada, one in Washington State--come to revolve around the smuggling of ****** in Jim Lynch's thoroughly enjoyable novel. Lynch has created an unforgettable cast of characters, but standing literally head-and-shoulders above the rest is Brandon, a 6' 8" dyslexic Border Patrolman, whose bird-watching expeditions keep getting interrupted by various border jumpers. Despite his apathy for the job, Brandon shows an eerie aptitude for being in the right place to nab potential smugglers, which is unfortunate since Maddy, the Canadian girl he's smitten with, has taken to cultivating "weed" to boost her income. Lynch vividly describes how an imaginary line across the land can irrevocably separate the fates of people who are otherwise good-hearted and like-minded.
- Fiction + Literature Themes, Fiction + Literature Genres
- Peoples + Cultures, Literary, Hobbies + Activities, Family + Friendship, Westerns, Romance
- July 13, 2010
- July 13, 2010
- Jim Lynch