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Boundaries: A Love Story

Boundaries: A Love Story

5.0 5
by Christine Z. Mason

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A novel about abandonment and passion, chronicling an imprudent but profound love, a maelstrom of family secrets, and a tragedy . . .

This East Coast-West Coast tale tracks the conflicts between individual desire and societal expectations, weaving together the secrets, tragedies, and clandestine affairs of two families, one living in Maine,


A novel about abandonment and passion, chronicling an imprudent but profound love, a maelstrom of family secrets, and a tragedy . . .

This East Coast-West Coast tale tracks the conflicts between individual desire and societal expectations, weaving together the secrets, tragedies, and clandestine affairs of two families, one living in Maine, the other in California.

In the summer of 1980, sixteen-year-old Kaia Matheson travels from her home in Berkeley to a small island off of Cape Cod for a family vacation. Kaia hopes to confront her divorced mother, Jean, about abandoning her in California, ostensibly to pursue a high-powered career in New York. However, Jean remains aloof and offers no apology for leaving Kaia in the custody of her controlling, alcoholic father. Intrigued by her rugged and intelligent cousin, Mark Karadonis, Kaia turns to him for companionship. Despite his misgivings, Mark is irresistibly attracted to his young cousin.

When Mark arrives in Berkeley to start law school, the two cousins’ involvement deepens. Kaia’s father enters a relationship with Chandi Gupta, a lawyer who handles cases of child neglect and abandonment. Through Chandi, Kaia becomes interested in children’s rights and a legal career. Eventually a devastating secret is revealed that threatens to unravel the lives of Kaia and Mark.

Boundaries: A Love Story will have you torn between lingering over the beautifully crafted prose and rushing ahead to discover how several absorbing questions are resolved. The story of Kaia and Mark and the difficult decisions they face will lead you to think about the novel long after you’ve read the last page.” —Susan Samuels Drake, Author, Fields of Courage and Wandering Amazed

“Intriguing and touching, a beautiful story.” —Bharti Kirchner, Author, Darjeeling and Tulip Season: A Mitra Basu Mystery

Christine Z. Mason has published award-winning short fiction as well as numerous articles and book reviews. She is the author of a children’s book, The Mystery of Nan Madol.

Christine graduated from UCLA with a degree in English Literature and served in the Peace Corps in Micronesia as an art and photography instructor. She subsequently earned her J.D. at the University of California, Davis, and practiced appellate and constitutional law. She lives with her husband in the Santa Cruz Mountains in Northern California; they have a son and a daughter.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Forbidden love flourishes in Mason's debut novel as Kaia and Mark, first cousins, fall in love. The two meet the summer that Kaia is 16. Devastated by her parents' recent divorce, Kaia is finally ready to confront her mother for leaving her with her controlling father in Berkeley, Calif. When Kaia and her mother spend two weeks together with Kaia's aunt and uncle on an island off of Cape Cod, instead of contending with her anger toward her mother, Kaia finds herself fiercely attracted to Mark, her older cousin who is about to start law school. Their connection intensifies, and soon it's apparent that nothing will stop the two from being together—not the fear of genetic diseases for their children or the opinion of their shocked family. But Kaia soon learns that her mother is having an affair with Nico, Kaia's uncle and Mark's father, and they plan to marry. Aside from the horror Kaia and Mark feel about being stepsiblings, yet another secret their parents are keeping might make their already complicated affair even worse. As the story shifts from Maine to California, Kaia and Mark will have to make decisions that will affect them and their families. The characters and their choices come alive as dynamic and complicated in this involving story about desire and the intricate secrets of families. The issues of Kaia's finding herself, despite her father's iron fist and Mark's at times suffocating love, speak to the tricky navigations of the heart as well as the delicate balance of individuality and interdependence. Kaia shines as a growing girl who changes over the course of the novel, and the tension of her conflict will keep readers intrigued. A feast of romantic entanglements that tests the odds.

Product Details

Robertson Publishing
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
1 - 17 Years

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Boundaries: A Love Story 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“What we have here folks¿are ducks. The Matheson and Karadonis families trying to appear serenely gliding over the waters of life while paddling furiously beneath the surface, some for their very survival.  The author, Chris Mason, hooks us with the opening scene, then sucks us into the two family’s tangled web of deceit, betrayal, emotional frigidity, and more as, Kaia, the protagonist struggles with what the title promises: love skirting the boundaries and limits of forbidden relationships on so many different levels for so many of these family members. This is a journey you will certainly, not only want to take, but also need to take.”  ¿L. Holt
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an absorbing read for my vacation, one that I didn't want to put down, just right for those long plane rides.  Boundaries is a delightful, sexy, coming of age story that  happens to be between two cousins who have to deal with family and societal disapproval.  Those who disapprove have their own personal and family relationships revealed, with many twists and turns in the plot.  .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great read! I loved the story. You are able to get to know the characters so intimately, and you are always left wanting to know more....once you pick up the book you will not be able to put it down. The main character will always hold a special place in my heart-she is an inspiring character to read about; she is sweet, strong, witty, thoughtful...a wonderful female protagonist. There are so many twists and turns, and the characters are perfectly complicated. The story is totally unpredictable which I find necessary in a good novel. A great read, it wakes up your mind & soul and while it is very realistic it remains heart-warming and hopeful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This first novel by Santa Cruz writer Christine Mason is a must-read! From the first page, I was instantly intrigued by the story, a cross-continental romance between two first cousins and the life-long effects it has on the rest of their family. Not only is this novel well written and extremely impressive for a first-time author, it covers many different topics beyond just the romance between the two cousins. For instance, mental illness is explored and mother-daughter relationships are examined. I would highly recommend the novel to anyone; it's sexy, poignant, and an all-around page turner. Check it out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has many characters with so much passion and raw human emotions. It's a treat for readers who enjoy being able to read characters with varying individual backgrounds that shows the kind of character they are in the story and how it affects everyone around them so personally. Mason paints her settings in an almost photographic way with many visual details of the characters and the environment, as well as being able to capture such realistic reactions and emotions. It is interesting to look past the attraction of cousins in this day and age and at first I wasn't sure what to think of it, except for my previous notions that it is unnacceptable, but historically and culturally speaking, it's more appropriate than you would believe. This book weaves a beautiful story of love, abandonment and a wonderful poetic dose of craziness that I fell in love with instantly. An intense and pleasurable read.