I am always fascinated by what and how Athol Dickson writes. He never writes like any other author I read. He is very different from the “norm.” He can take a simple Spanish Mission and tie it in with a modern day tale as he does in Lost Mission.
We first meet Fray Alejandro when he is receiving his call to go to the new world. He feels lead to help “convert the heathens” in New Spain. His travels take him to Alta California. It is a dry place and a place ready to hear about the Lord. But that is where all the plans go wrong.
In the modern times part of the story, Lupe sees what she believes is a sign from God that she must go to the U.S. in order to help lead the heathens of the great country to the north to God. That is where she first meets Ramon who helps her come across the border. She is rescued by Tucker and finally goes to live and work with Delona.
Each of these stories intertwine through the entire book, which in and of itself is done really well and very uniquely. It is one of those tales that leaves you wondering where you would fit into it. I know it is set in California and yet it is one that could be happening anywhere.
You are left to wonder who is the “bad” person here. There is the Christian guy who is helping people by stealing from the rich people. There is Lupe who thought she would lead thousands to Christ and yet has “saved” no one. What about Ramon who is here illegally and yet is sending his money home for his family to survive and some day save enough to buy their own restaurant.
No one is wholly good and yet not one is completely bad. It is all very interesting and leaves you wondering if you are really a failure or are you looking at all you have done through the wrong eyes.