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InstaReview: Infinite Country by Patricia Engel



"Maybe there is no nation or citizenry; they're just territories mapped in place of family, in place of live, the infinite country."

Infinite Country tells the story of a Colombian family who makes the difficult decision to immigrate to the United States, and the risks that come with the subsequent decisions they make. Do they stay in a country where their family is impacted by violence, even if it means leaving part of themselves behind and going to a country where they are treated as less than? After immigrating, do they stay when every day means living in a precarious, unprotected position in another violent country? Engel navigates these questions and more, not afraid of the complexity of the questions raised, and treats her characters with care even when they are flawed. This is a story seeking to put a human face on a political issue that's too often just shouted about on the news without empathy for people who are, at heart, trying to do what's best for their families. Infinite Country reminds us that borders are violence and no human is illegal. Engel does a lot within a short book, but some of the structural choices didn't quite work for us, so it's 4 stars from us.

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