Asylum (Americans in Love) by Betsy Adams
A Contemporary Romance Novel published by Americans in Love Books (11/16/20)
First reviewed through Reedsy Discovery
“These things couldn’t mask the horror of the port, the great divider between those privileged by their birthplace, and those cursed by it.” (44% Kindle Edition).
“America would break his heart again. There would be new challenges, new disappointments. But at least he would be safe, and his life would be his own.” (86% Kindle Edition).
Adela pushes against the justice system every day as an immigration judge. She believes in fairness and honesty but the system is rife with injustice, prejudice, and plain meanness. Paul left behind his high-end lawyer life in New York City to work as a lawyer advocating for asylum seekers at the border. Love, at first sight, can’t happen between a lawyer working on the same cases as the judge!
Romance, Love, Asylum, Lawyer, Immigration, Immigration Lawyer, Judge, Immigration Judge, Border, Mexico, Cartel, Tent City, Policies, Asylum Seekers, Courtroom
I chose to read this book because it looked well researched regarding asylum seekers, the writing style flowed from the very first page, and it was easy to read. I was more intrigued by the descriptions of the courtroom scenes and the way that the author described asylum seekers, immigration, and prejudice near and far from the border than by the love story. This book would appeal strongly to those who enjoy love-at-first-sight romances, courtroom dramas, and social issues.
Regarding the romantic plot – I felt like the novel could have been longer to fully develop the romantic relationship between Adela and Paul. I felt like the romance went from first dates and lust to in love too fast. I really, really wanted them to get together after their compelling backstories. They were meant for each other but I wanted the relationship to grow more before they encountered complications at the border. I don’t believe highly educated people would drop everything and risk so much for each other after only spending a few days together.
The courtroom action and legalese speak were fascinating and cleverly explained through the character’s thoughts and opinions and even body language. When the characters showed how they felt about some of the legal actions (or inactions) I learned about the implications of these actions.
I learned so much about asylum seekers from reading this book. Some of the details about the hardships endured during the months’ long uphill legal battles for gaining asylum into the United States didn’t even seem real! The difficulty and apathy of the system for those seeking asylum were hard to swallow. A country that advocates for freedom isn’t free for everyone. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that birthplace is enough for some people to discriminate against. Birthplace can be a privilege. I know I take it for granted. It made me angry, just like it made Adela and Paul angry, to hear about these injustices and the blatant lies and prejudicial treatment people in positions of power wielded towards those less fortunate or just trying to make a better life for themselves. A good book can make you angry, make you feel something, make you understand and sympathize. Asylum made me feel all sorts of angry. But the book also reminded me that not everyone is a good person or has good motives. How far does the corruption go? This book points out small injustices and biases as well as indicating a larger issue with the justice system, immigration law, and asylum in general. I started to question the more I read. What if there is even more conspiracy? What if cartels pay off someone in the system to deport those who will be granted asylum just so they can be held for ransom? How far does it go!?
I really liked the Author’s Note at the end of the novel, especially where she talked about the importance of the subject matter versus the romance… “That said, my greatest fear in writing Asylum was that the romance would trivialize the importance of the asylum issue. I felt a heavy obligation not just to the story, but to the people behind the story. The ones living it. I did not want to insult them. The love story is meant to bring the reader in and keep her engaged. To provide just enough distance, a reminder that love is never far away, even in the most desperate of circumstances.” (Betsy Adams. Asylum (Kindle Locations 3096-3099). Americans in Love. Kindle Edition).
This novel was published by Americans in Love Books on 11/16/2020 and is available on Amazon here.
TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25
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