This is the second book of the Border Trilogy. The first book was All The Pretty Horses.
The book takes place along the Mexico US border before and during World War II. This book, like the first, left me feeling bleak and desolate - much the way the landscape is described within the book. Even the rugged mountainous areas are described in a cold, harsh, desolate way.
It is a book of the wild west, not set during the wild west. A book of harsh laws and harder lives.
It is the tale of the son of a rancher and his journeys crossing the border into Mexico and back three times. He is 16 when the book begins and time passes slowly and strangely in the story. The time he spends isolated and wandering in his first crossing is never explained in an exact time frame.
His brother is with him during his second crossing but it seems they are on separate journeys although they are traveling together. Between them little is said and, it seems, even less is understood.
The final crossing it seems he is becoming even more lost than he was at the beginning of the book. He is on a specific journey with a goal in mind but he seems to be losing himself in the process. He completes his journey but like many things in McCarthy novels, it does not end the way he hopes for.
The book left me feeling empty and hopeless but wanting to reach for the third book of the trilogy, Cities of the Plain. Alas, I had gone on vacation and forgotten it (I know). I'll be starting it soon now that I am home.