In the border city of El Paso, Texas, two guardedly neighboring families have plunged headlong into a harrowing week. Rose Marie DuPre, wife and mother, has abandoned her family. On the doorstep of the Gonzales home, long-lost rebel Inez appears. As Rose Marie’s husband, Huck (manager of a maquiladora), and Inez’s brother, Jerry (a college professor), struggle separately with the new shape of their worlds, Lourdes, the Mexican maid who works in both homes, finds herself entangled in the lives of her employers, even as she grapples with a teenage daughter who only has eyes for el otro lado—life, American style.
What follows is a story in which mysteries are unraveled, odd alliances are forged, and the boundaries between lives blur in destiny-changing ways—all in a place where the physical border between two countries is as palpable as it is porous, and the legacies of history are never far away. There are no easy solutions to the issues the characters face in this story, and their various realities—as undocumented workers, Border Patrol agents, the American supervisor of a Mexican factory employing an impoverished workforce—never play out against a black-and-white moral canvas. Instead, they are complex human beings with sometimes messy lives who struggle to create a place for themselves in a part of the world like no other, even as they are forced to confront the lives they have made.
All That Rises is about secrets, lies, border politics, and discovering where you belong—within a family, as well as in the world beyond. It is a novel for the times we live in, set in a place many people know only from the news.