Engrossing and informative
I was a little hesitant to request yet another "lighthouse" book, having reviewed "The Woman at the Light" fairly recently; however, I'm glad I did. "The Edge of the Earth" is an engrossing tale, so that one almost doesn't notice the education that is provided about marine flora and fauna. The female characters: Trudy, Mrs. Crawley, young Jane, and the mysterious "Helen" are well drawn and memorable. The males, on the other hand, are weak, devious, or just plain unappealing. I don't know that Christina Schwarz deliberately set out to create a feminist novel, but the book can certainly be taken that way. The story starts and ends in 1977 with the now elderly Jane, but the bulk of it is set around 1898 and is really Trudy's, and to a lesser extent, Helen's. The remote outpost of Port Lucia, California serves as the isolated setting that brings out the best and the worst in the inhabitants who tend the lighthouse. I found myself drawn into the story and hope that other readers will too.
Rated of 5
by Chris W. (Temple City, CA)
Edge of the Earth
This novel was engrossing, informative, and somewhat mysterious. I enjoyed learning about the life of a lighthouse guardian, and the descriptions of the lifestyle at that time and the surrounding scenery were well written. The characters were intriguing and fairly well developed, especially Trudy. There are several aspects of this story appropriate for a book club discussion. I appreciated the slow pace and the haunting tale.
Rated of 5
by WDH (New Port Richey, FL)
What Was She Thinking?
Throughout most of the book I kept asking myself what was Trudy thinking when she chose to marry Oskar? A 'love is blind' situation with a bit of parental/societal defiance thrown in and she is launched into a life she is not prepared for with an unreliable and almost untrustworthy partner. However, Trudy manages to take her circumstances and turn them into something almost grand as she becomes aware of the flora and fauna in her remote surroundings on the California coast. She starts a business, gains independence and finds a place in the world that connects her to who she was before meeting Oskar. Overall I enjoyed the book, but did feel it was a bit disjointed.
Rated of 5
by Judy M. (East Haven, CT)
The Edge of the Earth
I found this book to be an engaging story of life as it was planned to be verses life how it becomes to be. The character of Trudy, born into a time where her expectations of life, through her families eyes, are to settle down with a nice/stable husband & raise a family. Trudy is well rounded, intelligent, and does not really question this path until Oskar comes along. Oskar is of course intelligent, different, a dreamer of big things, and allows Trudy to believe there may be more to her existence than what had been doled out to her. Since Oskar believes himself to be the inventor of new concepts that will make its mark in the world, and Trudy hs fallen in love with him and sees a new life for herself - the obvious happens, and they leave together to embark on what seems to be Oskars journey - Trudy still being in the more traditional role. What I particularly liked about this book was both the fact that it takes place in a remote setting (this is my 2nd lighthouse book), and that you get the chance to watch Trudy grow independent of all her original beliefs, and eventually of her need to have a husband as her way to fulfillment. An enjoyable read throughout, many twists to the story, and it all takes place in this most unlikely setting.
Rated of 5
by Bonnie B. (Port St. Lucie,, FL)
A LIfe Unexpected
Trudy lives a stable and boring life in Wisconsin. She is planning to marry Ernst but, when when she meets Oskar, she is strongly drawn to him. She decides to marry him instead of Ernst. Together, they go to a light house island in California and Trudy finds out that Oskar is not what he seemed to be. She discovers some wonderful and surprising things on the island.
I was disappointed with the characterizations. They did not run deeply enough for me. Most of the emotional life of this novel rested on geology and not people.
Rated of 5
by Mary Lou M. (N Royalton, OH)
Was looking forward to losing myself in "The Edge of the Earth", unfortunately this never happened. The development of the main character, Trudy, definitely something missing here. Previously read "Drowning Ruth" by Christina Schwarz, loved it, this novel does not compare.
Rated of 5
by Mary O. (Boston, MA)
I love historical fiction and couldn't wait to read this novel. I must say I was disappointed in the character development and the book did not keep me engaged. "Drowning Ruth" is one of my all-time favorites so maybe my expectations were unrealistic.
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