By Jim Lynch
Set within the formerly sleepy hinterlands straddling Washington nation and British Columbia, Border Songs is the tale of Brandon Vanderkool, six foot 8, often tongue-tied, seriously dyslexic, and romantically inept. captivated with bird-watching, Brandon has a troublesome time mustering enthusiasm for his new activity as a Border Patrol agent guarding thirty miles of principally invisible boundary. yet to everyone’s shock, he excels at catching illegals, and as drug runners, politicians, surveillance cameras, and a possible sweetheart flock to this scrap of land, Brandon is unexpectedly on the middle of anything a lot larger than himself. A tremendous novel of birding, smuggling, farming and amazing love, Border Songs welcomes us to a altering group populated with probably the most memorable characters in contemporary fiction.
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Called your father. Got no answer. So maybe he’s out. But the lights are on. Called again. I think they crossed down the street from him. ” Madeline glanced out the steamed window toward her father’s illuminated house. ” She rubbed her foot with a towel, recalculating how much she’d drunk and ordering herself to focus. ” Brandon said. ” The mini-fridge hummed a higher note. She had no idea what to say. Where was he headed? Did he know something? “Ahhh,” Brandon said. “Well, I hate to—” Her cell beeped twice, then the battery died.
The park was all most travelers saw of the border, but locals drove into the valley to gawk at this ditch that divided the two countries and created a rural strip where Canadians and Americans drove on parallel two-lane roads, Boundary Road to the south and Zero Avenue to the north, just a grassy gutter away from each other, waving like friendly neighbors—until recently, that is. Most passersby didn’t notice anything different. The soggy, fertile valley still rolled out for miles in every direction until it bumped into a horseshoe of mountains—Alp-like peaks to the north, a jagged range to the east and Mount Baker’s massive year-round snowball to the southeast—that gave the impression the only way out was west through the low-slung San Juan islands.
Brandon was staring at the horses and worrying about how strange Madeline Rousseau had sounded. Was she all right? She was the only girl he’d ever really known. So whenever he’d been approached by others, he’d always assumed they were probably similar to her, though they never were. ” He knew he was on Trapline, but forgot the cross street, and stutter-mumbled a response. ” she scolded. A moment later, she slumped in her seat, shut her eyes and screamed, “I’ve been shot! ” After he stopped the rig and bumbled through that exercise, she sprang outside and pretended to be an illegal he’d just apprehended.