Reviewed by Julia Reffner
Borders of the Heart by Chris Fabry
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"Fabry is a wordsmith and one of my favorite voices in literary Christian fiction."
Chris Fabry's books haven't disappointed me yet. Borders
of the Heart ups the ante for fans of Fabry's high-charged emotionally-driven fiction
by adding a strong suspense thread.
J.D. Jessup is an organic farmer in Tucson, Arizona. He finds a beautiful runaway, Maria, injured and lying on the ground near the border to Mexico. J.D. Jessup knows what it is to be on run. After his beloved wife's death to brain cancer, he left behind everything and moved to the rough desert hoping to numb the pain of his memories. He hopes perhaps in helping Maria he will atone for some of the sins of his past.
Unaware of the forces he is up against, he and Maria are chased by drug dealers, serial killers, those with no scruples. The chase is thrilling and keeps the reader turning pages long into the night, but the most invigorating chase takes place in the spiritual realm as the reader watches J.D. battle his sins and hurts. The "hound of heaven" is relentless in his pursuit and the spiritual thread of Fabry's book is seemlessly woven throughout the pages.
Borders of the Heart switches between two narrators: the hero of the story, J.D., and occasionally Muerte, a ruthless and cruel man with no scruples. Seldom do I find that I am brought completely into the mind of evil characters. Philippians 4:8 tells us to only think on those things that are pure, good, excellent, worthy of praise. So perhaps it is natural in Christian novels that the author would protect us in some sense from completely understanding an evil character. But I must admit to some disappointment as I would have liked to further understand why Muerte made some of the choices he did.
Despite that caveat I was definitely not disappointed with this novel. Fabry is a wordsmith and one of my favorite voices in literary Christian fiction. The issue of illegal immigration is brought up to the reader in a way that caused this reader to question previously held beliefs. Borders of the Heart was a highly enjoyable read and I anxiously await Fabry's next novel.
Reffner is blessed to be a servant to the King,
married to the love of her life, a busy homeschool mom of two young children,
and owned by one
shedding longhaired cat. She is enjoying working on a women’s fiction novel
in her spare time. She is a reviewer for Historical
Novels Review quarterly,
a magazine of the Historical
Novel Society. Julia can be found blogging about
God, literature and life at Dark
Glass Ponderings and about writing at the group
blog, The Writer's Alley.