In her comments on this story on the Journal Star’s Web site, Lange-Kubick writes, "We hoped that one family’s journey might illuminate a larger truth: How difficult it is to gain legal status and how far love will travel to make things right." This is a nice summation of the parallel themes in this piece: a public-policy oriented theme on the one hand, a universal-human theme on the other.

We liked the lovely, almost precipitous ending. We also enjoyed the first-person coda. We found that some sentence-level problems, such as unclear antecedents, made certain moments difficult to navigate. But overall this is a vivid, captivating tale with highly sympathetic characters.

We thought, too, there was perhaps a missed opportunity for a wider lens, for a view—not a discussion, but a view—of the sociological and political currents at work in the story. We’d have liked this view on the cross-cultural experience of the Placek family. Still, these undercurrents are highlighted less directly because the piece is bound to make readers think. It is the kind of engrossing tale that also taps into many larger themes.

Read “A Home for Brissa,” by Cindy Lange-Kubick

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