Dlora's Reviews > Borderline
Borderline (Anna Pigeon, #15)
by Nevada Barr
by Nevada Barr
Borderline has greater insight and a higher level of characterization than the books I've been reading lately. I kept stopping to think, "wow, that was well said," or "I really like that." I've always enjoyed Nevada Barr's books about Anna Pigeon, a park ranger. The settings are always interesting and the action is well described and gripping, but it's Pigeon's tenacity and strength and views about life and people that draws me in. I liked the title of the book which seems to refer to the fact that this story is set in the Big Bend National Park, which shares a border with Mexico. After 9/11 and the border closure, all kinds of politics and passions have been aroused, and this story covers some of that. However, I think the title also alludes to the fact that Anna is struggling with a personal emotional upheaval, a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder, after killing a particularly heinous man in her posting at Isle Royale (which was told in five-star Winter Study). On administrative leave from her job, Anna and her husband are on a nondemanding rafting trip down the Bid Bend river to try to allow Anna to pull back from the emotional abyss that she feels she is teetering on. "When every bell rang a false note," Anna recognized, "one had to move on or cross from borderline to genuine paranoid." So the title can refer to the actual border between Mexico and Texas but also to an emotional border between belief in the goodness of life or a black pit of depression and self-hatred. There are lots of really well described characters, great action scenes, thoughts on the strengths of women and the ties and bonds that motherhood imposes. Ah, maybe I should have given this book five stars. It really was good.
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