Although I’m not entirely sympathetic to people entering the United States illegally, I was drawn to the plight of Hector, a young man trapped while doing just that in The Jaguar’s Children. Based on true events and actual recordings recovered from a failed attempt to do so, the author expounded upon the vulnerabilities of those risking their lives to enter the U.S. in less than honorable ways. From the very beginning of the book, the narrator’s voice was filled with urgency, which made this a compelling read.
There were several backstories described periodically throughout the book, which was a nice change from the darkness surrounding Hector in the truck where he hid. Hector’s ethnic background popped up frequently, and provided a solid foundation for the story. The author’s use of symbolism to enhanced the story while also examining humanity and trust. I wasn’t expecting the graphic and gory events that took place, but they advanced the dangers of the border crossing in a very realistic way and I found myself really thinking about the impacts of these events on the characters. Some of the plot developments seemed obvious, but the story as a whole was a compelling read.
This was a thought-provoking book I enjoyed.