Caputo, Philip. Crossers. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009.
Reason read: Arizona became a state in February.
Be prepared to go on an epic journey crisscrossing time when you read Crossers. Caputo will seize you by the scruff of your psyche to take you back and forth from the New York of September 11th, 2001 to the wild west of the early 1900s. You will bounce from the dirty roads of rural Mexico to the tranquil streets of Connecticut. Characters from all walks of life will march across the page: ruthless drug lords and crusty wild west outlaws; graceful artists and desperate illegal aliens. At the center of the story is one man, Gil Castle. Consumed by grief after losing his wife in the 9/11 attacks, Gil retreats to his generations old family’s ranch in a remote corner of southwest Arizona. There he joins his uncle and cousin and tries to rebuild his heart while mending fences, tending cattle, and fighting off mules and murderers. In this respite he thought he could escaped the senseless violence of the terror attacks, but when the present day ancestors of ancient ghosts come seeking revenge for something his grandfather had done, Gil realizes his own family’s past has a dark and dangerous story to tell and he will pay the price.
The line that gripped me, “The interregnum of fear that had gripped him on the train had passed; as grief, the true monarch of his heart, resumed its oppression” (p 32).
Author fact: Caputo also wrote Horn of Africa, which is also on my list.
Book trivia: This could have been a movie.
Nancy said: Pearl said “There are many good reads, both fiction and nonfiction, about an important but bleak subject: the hazards of illegally crossing the Arizona-Mexico border. Two of the best novels I’ve discovered are Philip Caputo’s Crossers and…” (Book Lust To Go p 31).
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “AZ You Like It” (p 30).