3 out of 4 stars
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The Walls Between Us: A Borderland Love Story is a book based on a true story by Kate McGahan.
In this book, we follow many characters intertwined together through a small town in Arizona. The story begins when Viviana, a young Mexican woman, tracks through the Sonoran desert with her spouse. After her husband gets killed, she is kidnapped by a sex trafficking ring near Tuscon. In the meantime, Sarah, an up-and-coming lawyer from New York, goes to Tuscon to open a new lawyer’s office. There she meets and falls in love with a Mexican immigrant called Benito. He is a journalist who has been through some trials and tribulations before and after crossing the border. We also meet Sarah’s uncle Max, with whom she spends a lot of time, and Max’s neighbor Shane. They all come together in the most unexpected ways.
This book deals with a lot of important human issues like social justice, history, politics, discrimination, racism, family, and love. Together with three plotlines, it can overwhelm readers. However, I think the author did a fantastic job of weaving these characters and stories together. Still, there is a lot that is going on. Therefore, it feels very surface level. I do not want to give too many spoilers, but it surprised me at how some characters storylines ended.
Coyote is a meaningful character in this book. I love the meaning that the author did with it. Throughout the story, we meet these mystery coyotes and their interpretation within the plotline. It is a topic that is refreshing and elevates the book to the next level.
“Coyote is a sacred messenger; he can transform from man to canine to wise teacher and back again.”
Another character that stands out is a ruthless yet breathtaking nature. Sasabe, Nogales, Tucson, Juarez, the Sonoran desert are all significant parts of this story. I liked how the author incorporated it into the storyline.
I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy reading about heartfelt stories with realistic characters. If you like a touch of magical realism in your books, give this book a chance. I would not consider this book to be a romance, so if you are looking for that here, I suggest skipping this book. Here we have more of a happy for now ending with a lot of uncertainties, and even though romance plays a huge part in this book, it is not a romance book in the original understanding of the word. There are no explicit scenes or use of obscene language.
More often than not, the walls we build are not visible. The author shines a light on those walls, but also the visible ones. It is a timely subject because we are facing an immigration crisis right now. It might be a brilliant book to pick up for a discussion in a book club.
I did not notice any grammar mistakes, but there were several editing issues with missing quotations marks. Furthermore, this book is engaging, so I can not rate it any lower. There are a lot of unrewarded build-ups, with some convenient character choices. I can not give this book a perfect score because the ending was not satisfactory. Thus, I will rate this book with three out of four stars.
The Walls Between Us
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