“This land with all its beauty, still manages to betray itself.”
Infinite country is a heart-wrenching story of a family’s traumatic journey of leaving behind their bleeding country, and immigrating to an unknown land in the hope of a better life. Talia is a fifteen year old girl, planning an escape from a correctional facility in Colombia to fulfil her long cherished dream to meet her mother & siblings in US, her birth country which she hardly remembers. Elena & Mauro, who left together for US, are scarred forever from the choices they had to make in order to survive which left them separated beyond boundaries. While Mauro has a perpetual guilt of not being able to protect his family, Elena paid an unimaginable price for her children. Amidst the fear of deportation from one, and death in another country they yearn for a single day to live as an ordinary family in a place they can call home. It is their story of love, loss, sacrifice, dreams and endless struggle to live as a family.
Structure & Elements of the Story
Infinite Country is a General Fiction (Adult) Novel written by an award-winning and internationally acclaimed author Patricia Engel about the unspoken trauma of undocumented immigrant families. It is a poignant account of survival under the terror of being deported back from a country of opportunities & better life to their war-torn motherland where they have no future. Lingering nostalgia, guilt, separation, love, and the feeling of alienation in the strange land constructs this heart-wrenching tale.
“We all went our ways to live the life we never meant to live. It was a strange life.”
The narrative is richly weaved with Colombian folklore, forgotten traditions, bewitching beauty and a history drenched in bloodshed & violence of Colombia, which reflects the author’s Colombian roots & deep knowledge about it.
Story Development & Writing
The author succeeds in evoking our sympathy with her moving portrayal of the plight of Elena & Mauro’s family. It breaks our hearts to see Karina, a young and talented girl question her existence in the world. The fleeting sense of belonging to one’s motherland and inability to decide where she belongs is evident when we see Talia referring to US, her birth country as ‘that country’ and Colombia, where she is brought up as ‘this country’, as there is no country of her own. The author has vividly captured and narrated the trauma that each family member suffers in this painful journey of losing and finding each other.
Infinite Country will stir your soul and move you beyond your imagination. It compels your senses to feel the pain of leaving your country, your identity behind even if it won’t ensure your survival. We do not acknowledge the privilege to live with our families in a safe and sound environment without any fear of being separated or killed for no reason. This story makes us realize and leave us rolling in tears over the price some of us have to pay for this ordinary privilege. It will lead you to question ‘Do boundaries matter more than love and all that makes us human?’.I recommend ‘Infinite Country’ as a must read in 2021. It is an unforgettable story that will make a room in your heart forever.
“We are only soil and water baked in the sun to dry”
All the opinions and comments are posted voluntarily by Shelley Reviews and we thank NetGalley and the Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster for providing an advanced reading copy of the book in exchange of fair and honest review.
Pro Book Reviews Ratings
Structure & Elements: 4.5
Overall Rating: 4.5