“Borders of the Heart” is the story of John David Jessup, J.D. Jessup as he was known by most, and Maria, an young woman found in the desert in Texas almost dead and wearing one handcuff. J.D. works at the Slocum’s ranch at least temporarily. During his normal routine ride around the ranch to deal with stray cattle, he finds a Mexican woman, an illegal, almost dead in the desert area of the ranch. She is covered with blood, wearing part of a handcuff, and has a rattlesnake crawling on her. Going against the instructions of his boss to leave her out there and call the Border Patrol to deal with her, J.D. tosses the snake aside, and carries her back to the ranch, hiding her in his area of the schoolhouse on the ranch until he can decide what to do. What will happen to John David if the Slocum’s find out that he helped Maria? Why was she in the desert area of Texas, and why was she handcuffed? Who is the man following them, and killing everyone that helps them? Why are they after Maria? How will God help and protect them throughout their race for the life and freedom of Maria? Can this same God heal the hurt both John David and Maria have in their hearts?
Although I learned Spanish at a young age in the south, I have to admit I struggled with the language barrier in the first 7 chapters in the book, and so it was a very slow read for me. I suggest if you do read “Borders of the Heart” and aren’t bi-lingual that you pull up a translating program on your internet to post the Spanish parts of this book and have them translated for you. Even after 4 years of Spanish in 1st through 4th grades, I struggled with trying to understand what the Mexican characters like Maria were saying, and this made the book a difficult read for me. Although I felt the frustration John David had in not understanding what Maria was saying to him, I found myself struggling with enjoyment of reading the book due to that language barrier. I would read a little and find myself with a headache from trying to translate the words I was familiar with. At one point it was so bad that I gave up trying to understand, and just read, but felt like I missed something that would have helped me understand the story better.
However once I got through the first 7 chapters, and Maria showed that she spoke English too, the story began to flow a great deal easier, at least until the bad guys from the Mexican drug cartel began to speak off and on in Spanish again. Without some type of translation in the book it continued to be a struggle for me, as I suspect it will be for others. The story was interesting and even heart pounding, and I wish I could say I enjoyed it but the language barrier was like a thorn on a beautiful rose of a story, constantly poking and drawing blood from me. I would suggest that the author consider adding a line of translation in some way if they ever chose to write dialogue in another language ever again. Don’t get me wrong the story was interesting, and I enjoyed it except for that one thorn of a problem because of my lack of understanding Spanish. I was drawn in as long as the characters were speaking English, but I became frustrated with long spans of Spanish dialogue that were beyond my level of knowledge of the Spanish language.
I came to understand that I had a love/hate relationship with this book. I loved the story and hated the dialogue that I couldn’t understand. Maybe one day when I have more time, I will use a translator myself and reread this book. It will be slow going but I hope to fully enjoy it the second time in a way I did not enjoy it this time.
If I were to recommend this book it would only be to those who are bilingual and can fully understand the conversations in the book. Because of the subject matter, as far as drug running, and things like murder, I would not recommend this to anyone under 18. it can be graphic at moments, and even cause some fear to younger people.
Rated R: for violence and drug issues
Review copy provided by the publisher. Thank you!
Bonita is a stay-at-home, and homeschooling mom living in Indiana, who has spent over 25 years working as a Theater Tech, stage manager, and director in the Los Angeles area. She loves writing play scripts, lyrics, poetry, modern day parables, and short devotions. Besides having some of her poetry published, Bonita has seen some of her scripts performed at churches. She is an avid reader and fiber crafter, who says she refers to herself as a “Jill of all trades”.Bonita holds a degree in Music/Vocal Performance, with a minor in Theater Arts, who says she is most happy using her talents for Christ. Her love of reading is most felt when she is transported mentally and emotionally into the story. Bonita is also teaming up with her daughter, Jklyn, to do team reviews on books, hoping to offer parents an insight into books available for their children from a parent/child aspect.