About this book: (from the publisher) On a cold night in October 1937, searchlights cut through the darkness around Alcatraz. A prison guard’s only daughter–one of the youngest civilians who lives on the island–has gone missing. Tending the warden’s greenhouse, convicted bank robber Tommy Capello waits anxiously. Only he knows the truth about the little girl’s whereabouts, and that both of their lives depend on the search’s outcome.
Almost two decades earlier and thousands of miles away, a young boy named Shanley Keagan ekes out a living as an aspiring vaudevillian in Dublin pubs. Talented and shrewd, Shan dreams of shedding his dingy existence and finding his real father in America. The chance finally comes to cross the Atlantic, but when tragedy strikes, Shan must summon all his ingenuity to forge a new life in a volatile and foreign world.
Skillfully weaving these two stories, Kristina McMorris delivers a compelling novel that moves from Ireland to New York to San Francisco Bay. As her finely crafted characters discover the true nature of loyalty, sacrifice, and betrayal, they are forced to confront the lies we tell–and believe–in order to survive.
About the author: KRISTINA MCMORRIS is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and the recipient of more than twenty national literary awards, as well as a nomination for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, RWA’s RITA Award, and a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction. Inspired by true personal and historical accounts, her works of fiction have been published by Kensington Books, Penguin Random House, and HarperCollins.
THE EDGE OF LOST is Kristina’s fourth novel, following the widely praised LETTERS FROM HOME, BRIDGE OF SCARLET LEAVES, and THE PIECES WE KEEP, in addition to her novellas in the anthologies A WINTER WONDERLAND and GRAND CENTRAL. Prior to her writing career, she hosted weekly TV shows since age nine, including an Emmy Award-winning program, and has been named one of Portland’s “40 Under 40” by The Business Journal. She lives with her husband and two sons in Oregon, where she is working on her next novel. For more, visit KristinaMcMorris.com.
If this book were a movie, I would rate it: PG-13 for occasional profanity
Reminds me of: Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner
[Tweet “Giving me a dose of happy every time I picked it up: #TheEdgeOfLost @KrisMcMorris”]
Reflection: Few things please me more than a novel that opens with a gripping first scene–unless it’s one that wraps with a satisfying conclusion, and The Edge of Lost does both. While I don’t tend to gravitate to histfic that features a boy as its protagonist, in this case Shan Keagan was winsome, kind, and honorable enough to sell me. That, and I do enjoy Kristina McMorris’s lovely prose and smooth pacing, not to mention her attention given to even the most minor of characters. Her investment in–and obvious love for–historical research shows up on every page, turning what might be a read for mere entertainment into a worthwhile history lesson as well.
And though it has little to do with the literary quality of this novel, it still has something to do with my pleasure in it: You know how some books are simply a delight to hold? This is one. From its beautifully created cover to its fine paper and deckle-edge pages…. If you’re a histfic fan who sometimes reads on a Kindle, I’d recommend the print version here. It gave me a dose of happy every time I picked it up.
Thanks to She Reads and Kensington Fiction for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
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After words: Memorable visits to both Ireland and Alcatraz served to heighten my enjoyment of this story. With which book (and place) has something similar happened for you?