BOOK REVIEW


Joe Famularo, Author
James Beard Award Winner
IRDA Award Winne
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Border Crossing
by John Leslie,
$3.99

Border Crossing is a picaresque coming-of-age story of a Texas boy's pursuit of manhood. After growing up on a small horse ranch near the little town of Marfa in the southwest part of the state, not far above the Mexican border, Del Ray Gunn must cope with events that will have a profound impact on his future, including his father's death, his mother's reappearance in his life, and 9/11. The novel takes its characters and readers deep into issues that have become pervasive in contemporary America: broken families, the effect of war on innocent men who are still emotional boys, controversies arising from illegal immigration and its real effect on the lives of residents as well as immigrants.
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by Joe Famularo

I just read John Leslie's BORDER CROSSING and it is a great read. Usually, I'm able to identify with most heros in books I've read, but in this one, I felt I WAS Del, its main character. John Leslie draws such a magnificent portrait of him in everyway. I loved Del's time with Carly, an early girlfriend, his mother Raye, and as the story moves on, his love for Marisa. John writes so plainly and so movingly:"When Marisa smiled, Del felt a ripple of heat go through him". So did I. You should read this book before it is made into a movie.

Another Review

by Laurence Shames,
Florida Straights

Full disclosure – John Leslie is a friend of mine from Key West days. But it's also true that our friendship began, at least in part, out of my admiration for his work. His Gideon Lowry mysteries remain a touchstone for authentic and authoritative storytelling about the Key West that tourists seldom see – a community of deep locals and long-time residents.

Those books are very good, but Border Crossing represents a big leap in ambition and scope. Set in Texas and Afghanistan, it's a large-spirited and full-throated coming of age story that skillfully blends the timeless themes of family, adolescent uncertainties, and budding sexuality with up-to-the-minute issues of war, immigration, and the challenges of small-town life in a nation gone slick and urban. John Leslie shows both insight and compassion toward his characters, and his young protagonist, Del Ray Gunn, is someone well worth rooting for. In a time of cynicism and selfishness, Del Ray's determination to repay life-and-death debts and to behave decently toward others – of any religion or background – is a wonderful affirmation of our basic values. And, by the way, it's a damn good story, too.