Border Child

In The Iguana Tree, Michel Stone told the harrowing story of a border crossing that resulted in the loss of a child, betrayal by loved ones and exploitation by law enforcement on both sides. Border Child addresses the aftermath of that journey and the emotional and economic consequences that have ensued.

Nearly three years after their deportation, Hector and Lilia Santos are back in their remote village of Puerto Isadore. Despite adding a son to their family, both harbor guilt over the disappearance of Alejandra, their infant daughter: Lilia for leaving her daughter in the hands of an unknown female coyote, and Hector for his naiveté and for abandoning his family in his pursuit of the dream in el Norte. When Hector spots Emmanuel--Lilia's former boyfriend and the man responsible for connecting her to the treacherous coyote--in a nearby town, he decides to follow him. Hector once again must leave a very pregnant Lilia and their son under tenuous circumstances to discover the fate of their daughter.

Stone poetically considers the marital pressures and emotional toll that comes with the trauma of losing a child: "Our marriage is like a shattered clay pot whose shards have been glued back in place. The thing is not what it once was, but it's been salvaged." She also puts an authentic face to the problem of immigration and the price paid for daring to live a dream: the loss of innocence, the tearing apart of families, and the devastation and desperation of dashed hopes. Gripping, visceral and beautifully written, Border Child carries the potential to stir awareness and trigger debate about an increasingly controversial issue. --Nancy Powell, freelance writer and technical consultant

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