Books under 200 pages are my favorite–especially when they’re still poignant and gut-punchy, but respect your time. I had heard about Infinite Country this year–it was a BOTM pick, etc–but I’ll be honest, it earned it’s place high on my TBR pile because it was under 200 pages. I read this book is 2 sittings–one at home, one at work, and I was blown away. It was a very compelling read.
This is a story of a family, told in two parts that aren’t as separate as you might assume. In one timeline, we have Talia, a Colombian-American girl (born in the US, raised in Colombia) who escapes from a prison-esque school where she is being held and has only so many days to get back to Bogota and get on a plane to fly to the US to be with her family. She’ll beg, barter and steal, meet some people with good intentions and some without, and ultimately have to reckon with what she’s leaving behind as much as with what she’s going towards.
In the other timeline, we have the story of Talia’s parents, how they fell in love, why they decided to leave Colombia and move to the US, their fears of ICE and immigration, her father’s deportation, her mother’s life alone there raising her children. It’s a story of poverty and fear and hope for a better future.
These two stories are intertwined in interspersing chapters, flashbacks, narrative arcs, and a few chapters that reveal a POV you might not have seen coming. There is some violence, some animal abuse, and some sexual assault, and unfortunately, it didn’t come as much of a surprise because there are terrible people in the world, but be warned. I did not think it was gratuitous, compared to some books I’ve read on similar topics.
I was really compelled by this story–about Talia’s personality and her journey, the tale of her parents and their struggles and their triumphs at times, and I liked the ending well enough too. Ultimately, it was like a 4.7 star read for me!
Infinite Country is available wherever books are sold.