Tuesday, August 04, 2009

A delightful border

Title: Borders Songs
Author: Jim Lynch
Publisher: Knopf
Date published: July 2009
Read?:-) :-) :-)

Jim Lynch's novel Border Songs is wry, observant, and wonderful. Main character Brandon Vanderkool is a larger-than-life hero, anti-hero, and charity case all rolled into one. His work on the Border Patrol in Washington State truly marks a memorable time on the boundary of British Columbia. Brandon is pushed to join the BP by his father Norm, a dairy farmer with a dream of sailing and a wife who seems to be coming down with Alzheimer's. An avid bird-watcher and gifted artist, as well as socially awkward and severely dyslexic, Brandon is bewildered by life. He turns out to be gifted at catching illegals, howver, because he notices things no one else does. Brandon is in love with Madeleine Rouseau, daughter of retried professor and medicinal-pot-smoker Martin Rouseau, who lives across the ditch serving as an international border and delights in taunting the ill-fated Norm. Brandon's powers of perception lead the BP into unexpected highs and lows, all documented a mysterious masseuse who becomes the confessor of the town. This border feels populated by real people caught up in real politics and the economics of marijuana. As funny as it is honest, Border Songs will lift you.

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