The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border

The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border by Francisco Cantú, a former U.S. Border Patrol agent, is a raw, unfiltered look into the lives of Mexican migrants trying to cross into the U.S., desperate to earn a living and improve their circumstances. It is also a portrait of the agents whose job it is to thwart those ambitions. Cantú keenly observes the human cost of migration and the toll it takes on those involved in enforcing what he refers to as "an unnatural divide" between two countries. With reflections on the desert border that are infused with poetic imagery, and observations concerning the historical relationship between Mexico and the U.S., The Line Becomes a River provides valuable insight into a world most of us know too little about.

Border crossing crackdowns by the U.S. have increased the business of human smuggling organized by violent and ruthless drug cartels. Cantú tries to understand the psychology of the violence he witnesses, his sleeping hours terrorized by the lives he has disrupted because of doing his job well. The border becomes unbearably personal for Cantú, and when the opportunity arises for redemption, the reader fervently hopes that he will seize it and claim the moral high ground.

This soulful, captivating memoir transcends politics and focuses on the common humanity of our world. Cantú's storytelling gracefully conveys a haunted sense of the migrant's plight, her fierce desire to survive coupled with the odds of getting caught or killed. Cantú gently discourages readers from passing judgment on fellow human beings. Instead, he fosters a sense of admiration for the migrant's resolve, and wonder as to whether we could ever be as brave. --Shahina Piyarali, writer and reviewer

Powered by: Xtenit