I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Edge of Lost by Kristina Mcmorris
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.
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Please do yourself a favor and do not start reading The Edge of Lost while sick and on plentiful doses of cold medication. I made that mistake and at first found it very confusing. Realizing that it was my brain and not the book I put it down for a week and then started over. And I am so glad I did. The Edge of Lost is so richly nuanced it needs to be savored. The story ebbs and flows between countries and time in an extremely well paced manner and the world created was extremely real. Starting in Ireland with a poor orphan child performing in pubs for food money the emotions peaked quickly. I found myself truly caring for Shan and wanting the best for him. Then the story moves to an Italian-American family and their three children. Focusing on one of the sons Tommy, the story painted their Brooklyn neighborhood as a vivid, crackling land of the haves and the have-nots. Speakeasy’s, gangsters, the FBI and family loyalty permeated the landscape and made for such a rich story. The final part of the novel clipped along at a very strong pace and the bleak descriptions of Alcatraz interspersed with the thoughts of a gentle man made for a very strong juxtaposition. The Edge of Lost was gripping beginning to end and while I was very satisfied with the ending, I kept hoping for more chapters as this was a world I did not want to leave.
Favorite lines – “Then he saw her. That beautiful green lady of liberty. She looked like royalty in her crown and robe, but also welcoming, holding a torch to guide in their ship. To Shan’s surprise, emotions swelled inside him and tears wet his eyes. How odd that the sight of sculpted metal could cause a squeezing in his chest.”
Biggest cliché – Really none. This was a very unique and well constructed novel.
Have you read The Edge of Lost, or added it to your TBR?