I fell in love with Jim Lynch’s writing upon reading The Highest Tide, and knew I would definitely read another of his books when given a chance. While Border Songs doesn’t have the thrilling narrative of his earlier work (and seriously it would be hard to top it), it is still a fine work of fiction.
Lynch presents a border community in the Pacific Northwest, where a six foot eight inch tall young man, with autism and dyslexia, proves to he has a gift for spotting illicit activities as a Border Patrol agent. I loved the story of Brandon Vanderkool, particularly how Lynch gets into his head so the reader sees with the particular acuity of his subject. It is post 9/11 and in addition to illegal immigrants, the border is trafficked by drug runners and the threat of terrorism. In the midst of these events, the local community is suffering economically, and it’s inhabitants are finding it difficult to resist the financial benefits that come with turning a blind eye to illegal border activities.
With today’s news reports filled with concerns about immigration, drugs and economic malaise, this book becomes even more poignant in an attempt to understand how these forces (and political ones) can affect a farming community.
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 200