34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Enrique's Journey: The Story of a Boy's Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with His Mother (Hardcover)
In an excellent book based on the famous news feature series by the same journalist, the trials and tribulations of immigrant populations in economic, social, cultural, and emotional contexts is well highlighted. It is sheer coincidence that I happen to read this book the same day the US Senate reached a "compromise" on immigration reform. Lost in political debates of immigration, is the sheer human facets of the people involved. This book (just as the series did a few years ago) provides a human side to relate to when politicians/"experts" debate about immigration. The author is very careful not to condone illegal immigration by focusing on the human tolls of the people trying to get to the U.S. in any form, irrespective how miserably the previous several attempts have failed. Using the story of one teenager's quest for finding his mother as the central theme, the book explores the motivation of those who make such seemingly improbable decisions, the dangers of the travel itself, the role (or lack thereof) of governments, religious/charity organizations, communities along the travel route, and the misery from which these 'optimists' are trying to escape from. Any amount of objective analysis will not take away the immense emotional impact the book will have on a reader - the strains of motherhood and the pensive childhood of those left behind are exposed without any sensationalism. The sheer gravity of the story is compelling enough.
Written in a simple, yet powerful, narrative style, the author clearly enables the reader to imagine the journey described in the book. An absolute must-read, and perhaps one of the best non-fiction books. You will never view immigration as a political issue again (whether thats good or bad, is upto you)..guaranteed.