Saturday, November 28, 2009

BORDER CROSSING by Jessica Lee Anderson

Manz is barely holding things together. Life isn't too bad when his mother's boyfriend Tom is around to keep an eye on her drinking, but when Tom's gone on a long run cross-country, Delores is a mess.

There are memories of better times. Manz does remember his father, a Mexican nicknamed Loco. He worked hard at the nearby orchard and kept a roof over their heads. However, his nickname said how things really were, and his life ended in a head-on collision with a guardrail that was ruled an accident, although it probably was not.

It was rough at first when Delores met Tom. Manz didn't completely trust the guy, but when he saw how thrilled the two were to learn that Delores was pregnant, he thought maybe things might turn around. The devestating news that something was wrong with the baby ripped away any hope for better times.

Now Manz spends his time driving his mother to work and hoping she stays sober enough to handle things around the house and maybe even return to the painting that made her so happy before little Gabriel died. When he's not worrying about his mother, Manz picks up odd jobs with his friend Jed as he tries to keep him on the straight and narrow so Jed's abusive father won't kill him.

It's no wonder that Manz begins hearing voices. Along with the voices, there are visions and feelings of paranoia. Having no one he feels he can confide in, Manz begins listening to the voices hoping they can provide the answers no one else can.

BORDER CROSSING is a multi-layer novel that explores dysfunctional families, illegal immigrants, and mental illness. Jessica Lee Anderson gives readers a glimpse into the mind of a young man attempting to keep his mother's life and his best friend's life on track when his own is beginning a freefall toward destruction. BORDER CROSSING will challenge readers to sort through the confusing thoughts and emotions of young Manz as he struggles to keep his life from crumbling beyond repair.

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