The Edge of Lost by Kristina McMorris

Source: Author Kristina McMorris
Paperback, 340 pgs.
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The Edge of Lost by Kristina McMorris explores what it means to be lost in the rough waters, like those surrounding Alcatraz in 1937, and deciding to take a leap of faith and plunge into the fog.  Shanley Keagan, like Tommy Capello, is caged, and they both dream of freedom and a life lived on their own terms.  Like many dreamers standing on the precipice of change, fear and anxiety cause them to freeze, becoming inert.  It is not until they take a leap of faith that they can realize their dreams.  Shanley, under the thumb of his alcoholic uncle, dreams of a vaudevillian life in America, and by chance is given an opportunity to chase his dream.  When tragedy strikes aboard the vessel, Shan is forced to do the unthinkable to grab his dream.

“No man wants a daily reminder of the hardships that in a blink could be his own, nor to carry the shame of being unable, or unwilling, to help those in need.  Such burdens were easier to discard when not planted outside your window.” (pg. 12 ARC)

Tommy Capello, on the other hand, seems to have it all — a family who loves him, a roof over his head, and talent for any number of vocations.  Telling jokes on stage comes naturally, but the club owner is into some prohibited business, forcing Capello to make a choice.  Unfortunately, his brother makes a different choice and gets in deeper, but when Capello crosses the line with his brother Nick’s love, all that he has is lost, forcing him to leave and forget his family.  Only upon his return does Tommy believe he can right the wrong and save his brother from certain jail time or death, but disaster strikes and he loses even more.

“It’s fascinating, really, when you think about it.  How a person can slip into a new life as one would a new pair of shoes.  At first there’s a keen awareness of the fit: a stiffness at the heel, the binding of the width, the curve pressed into the arch.  But with time and enough steps, the feel becomes so natural you almost forget you’re wearing them at all.” (pg. 115 ARC)

The Edge of Lost by Kristina McMorris is mesmerizing, and Shan and Tommy’s stories are intertwined in the most beautiful way to tell a story of family devotion and redemption.  Shan embarks on a journey to another continent, while Tommy emerges from the ashes to take on a new life.  These young men are dreamers, but they also realize that to achieve their dreams takes hard work and appreciation for those who help them along the way.

Rating: Cinquain

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 her fourth novel, following the widely praised Letters from Home, Bridge of Scarlet Leaves, and The Pieces We Keep. Additionally, her novellas are featured in the anthologies A Winter Wonderland and Grand Central.







I’m counting this as my Fiction Book Set in the 1930s.

Mailbox Monday #339

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links.  Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

1. The Witch’s Market by Mingmei Yip for review from the author.

Chinese-American assistant professor Eileen Chen specializes in folk religion at her San Francisco college. Though her grandmother made her living as a shamaness, Eileen publicly dismisses witchcraft as mere superstition. Yet privately, the subject intrigues her.

When a research project takes her to the Canary Islands—long rumored to be home to real witches—Eileen is struck by the lush beauty of Tenerife and its blend of Spanish and Moroccan culture. A stranger invites her to a local market where women sell amulets, charms, and love spells. Gradually Eileen immerses herself in her exotic surroundings, finding romance with a handsome young furniture maker. But as she learns more about the lives of these self-proclaimed witches, Eileen must choose how much trust to place in this new and seductive world, where love, greed, and vengeance can be as powerful, or as destructive, as any magic.

2. LOVE by Beth Kephart, which I purchased.

This volume of personal essays and photographs celebrates the intersection of memory and place. Kephart writes lovingly, reflectively about what Philadelphia means to her. She muses about meandering on SEPTA trains, spending hours among the armor in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and taking shelter at Independence Mall during a downpour.

In Love, Kephart shares her loveof Reading Terminal Market at Thanksgiving: “This abundant, bristling market is, in November, the most unlonesome place around.” She waxes poetic about the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, the mustard in a Salumeria sandwich, and the “coins slipped between the lips of Philbert the pig.”

3. The Edge of Lost by Kristina McMorris for review from the author.

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.

What did you receive?