Saturday, June 29, 2013

Julie's Reviews: The Edge of the Earth

Summary: In 1898, a woman forsakes the comfort of home and family for a love that takes her to a remote lighthouse on the wild coast of California. What she finds at the edge of the earth, hidden between the sea and the fog, will change her life irrevocably. Trudy, who can argue Kant over dinner and play a respectable portion of Mozart's Serenade in G major, has been raised to marry her childhood friend and assume a life of bourgeois comfort in Milwaukee. She knows she should be pleased, but shes restless instead, yearning for something she lacks even the vocabulary to articulate. When she falls in love with enigmatic and ambitious Oskar, she believes shes found her escape from the banality of her preordained life. But escape turns out to be more fraught than Trudy had imagined. Alienated from family and friends, the couple moves across the country to take a job at a lighthouse at Point Lucia, California — an unnervingly isolated outcropping, trapped between the ocean and hundreds of miles of inaccessible wilderness. There they meet the light stations only inhabitants — the formidable and guarded Crawleys. In this unfamiliar place, Trudy will find that nothing is as she might have predicted, especially after she discovers what hides among the rocks. Gorgeously detailed, swiftly paced, and anchored in the dramatic geography of the remote and eternally mesmerizing Big Sur, The Edge of the Earth is a magical story of secrets and self-transformation, ruses and rebirths. Christina Schwarz, celebrated for her rich evocation of place and vivid, unpredictable characters, has spun another haunting and unforgettable tale.

Review: Years ago I read Drowning Ruth and truly enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I didn't connect with The Edge of the Earth as I did with her previous novel. While it is evident that Ms. Schwarz has a gift for prose and the characters didn't connect with me. While I admired Trudy for making the most of her situation and embracing the solitary life she didn't impact me like I had hoped.

I knew from the beginning that Oskar was going to be trouble. What kind of trouble I wasn't sure. He turned out to be flighty and moody, which there are worse things but when you are isolated that really isn't the type of husband you want for company.

The setting is dark and desolate. It has an eeriness that is woven into the story. It really is no place to raise children. It is within the arms and minds of the children that Trudy finds herself. It is here that she makes her impact.

While this might have not appealed to me, if you are interested in the ocean and the creatures within it, you probably want to pick The Edge of the Earth up.

Final Take: 3/5

Thanks to Diana Franco for my copy of the novel.



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