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Diane W. (Lake Villa, IL)
The Edge of the Earth
I love historical fiction and enjoy Christina Schwarz's writing style very much. I found the book a bit hard to get into initially, but grew to like the intrigue of the story and the characters better as I read along. I have a love of lighthouses and their history, so I'm sure that spurred me along to the finish --- but others may find it too focused on details to continue. But persist! It has a logical and satisfying ending. Definitely a women's read.
Sue P. (Richardson, TX)
The Edge of the Earth
This is an excellent novel that slowly brings us into the turn-of-the-century world of the west coast and almost unexplored territory. The suspense that builds as Trudy and Oskar settle into their lighthouse home and get to know the very formidable inhabitants of the area is steady and haunting. This book has magical overtones.
Linda P. (Medford, WI)
An Enjoyable Read
This was my second read by Christina Schwarz. I enjoyed Drowning Ruth very much, so I thought this would be a good fit for my reading pleasure. I was right! The scenery & historical timeline was right up my alley, but the story itself was a bit melodramatic. I couldn't stop reading tho, esp. towards the end, & that's the sign of a good book. Would definitely recommend this title.
Cheryl W. (Crosby, MN)
I sometimes enjoy this type of book. Just a book to read. Trudy passed through many trials. I loved the lighthouse and Big Sur descriptions but characters needed more development. Not a recommendation for me.
Carol R. (Los Angeles, CA)
The Edge of the Earth
I thought this novel was a bit slow in the beginning, but once it got going, The Edge of the World had me on the edge of my seat. I was definitely enthralled by some of the characters in this book, but the one character I found most intriguing was the edge of the world itself, Big Sur, California. It's beautiful and haunting, and I loved seeing how the various characters in the novel were shaped by this mysterious landscape. The Edge of the World was a wonderful story told by a master storyteller and I think it contained enough interesting topics to discuss in a book club.
Linda G. (Walnut Creek, CA)
All About Lighthousekeeping
Fans of historical fiction and literary mystery will thoroughly enjoy Christina Schwarz's new novel "The Edge of the Earth". Narrated by a young wife at the end of the 19th century, this somewhat haunting novel takes place on the blustery and foggy California coastline, in an aging lighthouse that she and her husband share with another family.
Diane L. (Huntsville, AL)
Titanic meets Island of the Blue Dolphin
The characters are well developed, yet unpredictable, leaving us wondering who can really be trusted in this coastal setting where hidden secrets and mysteries, both scientific and familial abound. As we watch the story and the lives of these 2 families unfold, it becomes evident that the author is a superb storyteller, and knows exactly how to keep her readers guessing until the revealing, final page is turned. A haunting, yet totally enjoyable read!
What was disappointing to me was the predictability of this plot.
Mary M. (Lexington, KY)
Trudy is a highly educated young woman at the turn of the century who begins to become self aware that the planned course of her life (finish college, then scrap that and get married to a nice but stolid, unimaginative young man) is more constrictive than she would like. Enter Oskar, a passionate, brilliant romantic who has prescient ideas about the future. Does any of this sound familiar?
Of course Trudy ditches the seemingly looming boredom of her life and latches her fate with Oskar. He has obtained a job as a lighthouse keeper off the remote coast of California. This position is attractive to Oskar because he will have plenty of quiet time to work out his latest great idea. Although it is because of Oskar they make this leap into the unknown, it is Trudy who falls in love with the island.
Initially Trudy thinks that she, her husband and another family are the only occupants on the island. Then mysterious homemade gifts begin to appear for Trudy. The children have been telling her stories about a "mermaid" that Trudy has initially put down as over-imaginative minds. But, could there be some truth to their tales? Enter The Island of the Blue Dolphin.
These two stories crash together in a predictable climax. Although this story is nicely written, it's not worth more than a casual read.
An unusual book, not at all what I expected.
The book takes place at an isolated lighthouse.
Christina Schwarz did a good job of describing the time and place. Maybe too good because I felt the book was as gloomy as the location.
For me there was too much emphasis on the marine life. At times I felt I was reading a text book.
None of the characters with the exception of Helen were very likable. I wish her character had been more developed.
I did not like this book and would not recommend it. However it might be a good choice for book clubs. There were a lot of things that happened that would make for good discussions.