Borders of the Heart  -     By: Chris Fabry
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Borders of the Heart

Tyndale House / 2012 / Paperback

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Product Description

Desperate to escape haunting memories, J. D. Jessup travels from Nashville to Tucson and volunteers on an organic farm. The hardened landowner has one prevailing rule: If J. D. sees an "illegal," call the border patrol. But when an early morning ride along the fence line leads him to a beautiful young woman named Maria, near death in the desert, his heart pulls him in another direction. Longing to atone for the choices that drove him to Tucson, J. D. hides her and unleashes a chain of deadly events he could never have imagined. Soon they are running from a killer and fighting for their lives. As secrets of their pasts emerge, J. D. realizes that saving Maria may be the only way to save himself.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1414348622
ISBN-13: 9781414348629
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

2013 Christy Award finalist!
Desperate to escape haunting memories, J. D. Jessup travels from Nashville to Tucson and volunteers on an organic farm. The hardened landowner has one prevailing rule: If J. D. sees an “illegal,” call the border patrol. But when an early morning ride along the fence line leads him to a beautiful young woman named Maria, near death in the desert, his heart pulls him in another direction. Longing to atone for the choices that drove him to Tucson, J. D. hides her and unleashes a chain of deadly events he could never have imagined. Soon they are running from a killer and fighting for their lives. As secrets of their pasts emerge, J. D. realizes that saving Maria may be the only way to save himself.

Editorial Reviews

What do you do when the laws of man are in direct conflict with the laws of God? That’s the dilemma former musician J. D. Jessup faces when he finds a half-dead woman just this side of the Arizona-Mexico border. His boss has decreed that all “illegals” are to be handed over to the Border Patrol. J. D. sees something in “Maria” he can’t explain and hides her instead. Soon it becomes apparent that she’s being hunted by the sadistic Muerte, head of a powerful, ruthless Mexican cartel. As Maria and J. D. go on the run, they discover they each have dark, hidden secrets they’re reluctant to share. In this edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense, all of the characters ring true, from the inner-city minister to the beleaguered ranchers. Fabry has nailed the attitudes of those in Arizona who deal with undocumented people in both humane and inhumane ways.

Product Reviews

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  1. i blog 4 books
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Not the Book for Me
    August 25, 2013
    i blog 4 books
    Chris Fabry is an award-winning author, so I was excited that my library had several of his books in their downloadable audio section. It's apparent on most review sites that many did indeed love Borders of the Heart, but I am not one of them. The book is on the longer side at 9.5 hours (or 400 pages). After listening for over 3.5 hours, I still was not any more drawn into the plot than I was at the beginning. It seemed that throughout the book the characters just ran around a lot _ and not much else happened. The story is told from JD's perspective—and much of it through reflection or thoughts while the dialogue and "action" was more minimal. Add to that the fact that I never really liked or cared very much about JD or Maria (the main characters), and I had an extremely difficult time finishing this book.

    I will say that my interest in both the plot and the characters picked up for about the last hour of the book, including the 20-minute "epilogue" a year in the future. Personally, if the story had centered more on the year in between and/or the "epilogue" rather than the three days that it did, I think I would have enjoyed the book more. After the three days dragged on for so long, I felt a little cheated with the quickly-wrapped-up ending. One positive for me was that it was fun to hear the writer read his own book—rather than an actor. He did a great job with the narration and the "voices," so if you enjoy Fabry's work, you might give the audio version a shot as well. Sadly, though, this was not the book for me. [2 stars]
  2. Veronica
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Interesting Story!
    August 24, 2013
    Veronica
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    J.D. Jessup has run from his life as a musician to Arizona, where he works on an organic farm near the Mexican border, learning the trade and living simply. He's been existing, not really living. Then he finds Maria, lying out in the desert, covered in blood and near death. Though his boss has told him to call Border Patrol if he ever finds an illegal, he can't do it and instead cleans her up and takes her to a doctor. This act of kindness sets him on a different and dangerous path, because someone wants Maria dead. He can't seem to let her go, even when he has the chance to; he feels an inexplicable bond with her and knows he must see this through to the end, whatever that might be. Maria slowly opens up about who's after her and why, but he's not sure if he can trust her or if she's playing her own game with him caught in the middle.

    J.D.'s story is slowly revealed as he talks with Maria and meets Good Samaritans along the way. He's very introspective and they cause him to question his beliefs about God and a past tragedy. I get the sense that he grew up going to church but never had faith for himself. Could God be working things together for good and is God really in control? These seem to be important themes for Fabry; a previous book I've read, Almost Heaven, also deals with this. The title refers not only to the American-Mexican border, but also to how we wall ourselves off from others, whether it's out of fear or something else. There's some discussion from both sides of the illegal alien debate. Who's really our neighbor?

    I enjoy Fabry's writing. There's a lyrical quality to it and he has a way of describing scenes so I feel I'm really in Arizona, sweating and dusty, even though it's cold where I am! There's some action as the bad guy gets close and the body count rises. There's only a hint of romance but mostly the story is J.D. figuring things out for himself. I found the story interesting, but a bit hard to get into. It's quite different than what I usually read. I do plan on reading his other stories because I like that he makes me think about the hard questions.
  3. Veronica
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Interesting Story!
    August 21, 2013
    Veronica
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    J.D. Jessup has run from his life as a musician to Arizona, where he works on an organic farm near the Mexican border, learning the trade and living simply. He's been existing, not really living. Then he finds Maria, lying out in the desert, covered in blood and near death. Though his boss has told him to call Border Patrol if he ever finds an illegal, he can't do it and instead cleans her up and takes her to a doctor. This act of kindness sets him on a different and dangerous path, because someone wants Maria dead. He can't seem to let her go, even when he has the chance to; he feels an inexplicable bond with her and knows he must see this through to the end, whatever that might be. Maria slowly opens up about who's after her and why, but he's not sure if he can trust her or if she's playing her own game with him caught in the middle.

    J.D.'s story is slowly revealed as he talks with Maria and meets Good Samaritans along the way. He's very introspective and they cause him to question his beliefs about God and a past tragedy. I get the sense that he grew up going to church but never had faith for himself. Could God be working things together for good and is God really in control? These seem to be important themes for Fabry; a previous book I've read, Almost Heaven, also deals with this. The title refers not only to the American-Mexican border, but also to how we wall ourselves off from others, whether it's out of fear or something else. There's some discussion from both sides of the illegal alien debate. Who's really our neighbor?

    I enjoy Fabry's writing. There's a lyrical quality to it and he has a way of describing scenes so I feel I'm really in Arizona, sweating and dusty, even though it's cold where I am! There's some action as the bad guy gets close and the body count rises. There's only a hint of romance but mostly the story is J.D. figuring things out for himself. I found the story interesting, but a bit hard to get into. It's quite different than what I usually read. I do plan on reading his other stories because I like that he makes me think about the hard questions.
  4. Pauline
    Muscatine, IA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Good but not great
    August 19, 2013
    Pauline
    Muscatine, IA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Chris Fabry combines adventure, suspense, a love story, and Christian teachings, producing a good - but not great - novel. I was particularly interested in the issues related to immigration and the border. I actually have preferred he focused more on those and less on the love story, but I realize that for a large number of readers, the love story makes the book more appealing.

    For most of the book, I really enjoyed seeing the story and characters develop. There is a surprisingly high body count, but it's really only realistic considering the involvement of a ruthless criminal. What is somewhat surprising is how the protagonist, J.D., keeps going toward the violence rather than away. To some extent this is explained by his feelings for Maria, but at some point I began to question the believability of his actions.

    At about the same point I also started to find the books getting rather "preachy." Unlike readers whose reviews I have read elsewhere, who object to the religious overtones getting more and more intrusive, I agree with the message Fabry weaves into the story. But I am surprised by other readers who think he did a good job keeping the message from overshadowing the story. Toward the end, I started feeling that the story and characters were just a vehicle for his message, and their believability went correspondingly downhill.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with having a message in a story. Since people are inevitably motivated by their values and beliefs, you can't tell a story without some kind of implicit message about what is important. But for the characters to be believable, they have to appear to act out of their own personalities, even while the reader knows that the author is pulling all the strings. The more explicit the message becomes, the less believable it seems that people act that way because that's how real people act, and more because it fits the message the author wants to get across.

    As I say, I do agree with the message that Fabry wants to get across: "I hope readers will take away the truth that what looks impossible to people is possible with God's power. Even if something looks hopeless, it's really not when God is involved." But I think it would come across better if it weren't pushed quite so much.
  5. Kris
    Fairfax, VA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Quick paced mystery
    August 14, 2013
    Kris
    Fairfax, VA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Borders of the Heart is a quick paced mystery involving the Border patrol, drug smuggling and the Mexican cartel, and a man with a huge fence around his own heart. There were lots of murders, blood, and running - running from the law, vigilantes, and hit killers. It was a page turning thriller that I couldn't put down. And I love the endings of Chris Fabry's books - you never know what to expect!
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