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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
I suspect very few people are unaware of events in the recent past where immigrant children of families seeking asylum in the US were forcibly separated from their parents and subsequently housed, like animals, in cages while the government decided what to do with them. Furthermore, if the media isn’t reporting “fake news”, some of those families have yet to be reunited, thanks to lost records of who belongs with whom. If you haven’t guessed it, that situation is the basis of this fictional drama by Michael Walsten, Separated at the Border. After you finish reading this engrossing, straightforward and simply written novel, you will sigh with relief that what happens is only fiction. But what if it weren’t? What if those put in charge of these detained children were prepared to let them go to human traffickers for the right price?
When Di Herrera, a young freelance journalist looking for her first big story, discovers this ugly situation in a for-profit detention facility in the Florida Everglades, she is compelled to write about this injustice. She also wants to find a way to save those children from their horrid futures. Together with a former teacher, Jason, who is also an ex-army ranger, and the help of a Catholic priest, they come up with a plan to get the children out of the detention facility, but not before Di and others come close to losing their lives. I enjoyed Walsten’s no-nonsense, trimmed of excess style of writing. He gets straight into the plot, creates likeable, interesting and realistic characters and brings it all together in a pleasing, sensible conclusion. I enjoyed this book. For a first novel…well done!