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The Transplant, by Alexandra Ulysses.

October 4, 2013

The Transplant, by Alexandra Ulysses.  United Arts Media LLC, 2012.

A painful novel, full of the experiences of legal and illegal immigrants to the United States.

Agata is a young Polish woman who came to America as an au-pair caring for the children of a professional German couple.  Her employers were kinder than those of the other au-pairs she knew, but she was vulnerable anyway.  Escaping an intolerable situation, she drifts into the world of illegals.  Escaping the Border Patrol, Mario had crossed into the U.S. with the help of smugglers. They try to make a life together, despite their vulnerability to deportation.

The picture created in this novel is often painful, but all too true.  Immigrants to the United States are often vulnerable; isolated and without decent employment and community support.  In their desperate search for money and security, they rob and steal for each other.  Some, like Agata, suffer from the rejection and mistakes of people they have trusted.  But not all the problems are personal and private.

In addition, the US Immigration Service presents an obstacle course for those, like Agata, who want to enter legally and have the qualifications to do so.  It is ridiculous for Americans to pontificate about their “breaking the rules” when the process of obtaining their papers is such a confusing and irrational process.  We who are American citizens need to push our representatives not only to pass less restrictive immigration laws, but also to make the immigration process simpler and more straight-forward.

At times, the pain in Transplanted is overwhelming.  There are simply too many people with too many problems.  The universe itself seems to be against them.  None the less, I recommend this book for those who need an introduction to realistic experiences of immigrants seeking a better life.

I read this book courtesy of Library Thing and United Artists Media.

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