Author: Kristina McMorris
Published: November 2015, Kensington
Format: Paperback, 340 pages
Source: Publisher via She Reads
From New York Times bestselling author Kristina McMorris comes an ambitious and heartrending story of immigrants, deception, and second chances.
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.
Skillfully weaving these two stories, Kristina McMorris delivers a compelling novel that moves from Ireland to New York to San Francisco Bay. As her finely crafted characters discover the true nature of loyalty, sacrifice, and betrayal, they are forced to confront the lies we tell—and believe—in order to survive.
My thoughts: This is the first book I've read by Kristina McMorris but it certainly will not be the last. I had heard about this author, but just haven't had the time to pick up her books, but thanks to the gals at She Reads for selecting her latest book as part of their 'Books of Winter' selection, I jumped at the opportunity to read this one...and I'm so glad I did - I really liked this one!!!
Spanning two decades, we follow Shan Keagan, an Irish immigrant who makes his way from Ireland to NYC. Even though Shan was a male character, I really liked him and found myself constantly rooting for him. Despite the life he is dealt, he doesn't want to be a burden on anyone and is always trying to figure out how to make things better not only for himself but for those trying to help him, including the Capello family, who takes him in. But he wasn't the only character I fell in love with - I felt that all the characters were so richly drawn, it was hard not to love them, even the ones who were meant to be the bad guys.
This is a book about second, and even third and fourth, chances. It starts off with the search of a missing girl and then flashes back to give us the story of Shan, and I kept trying to guess how the two were going to intersect and when they finally do, I loved it! I was on the edge of my seat the last third of the book, wondering how it would all play out.
I love reading historical fiction and I especially love when authors include a note in the book that gives their inspiration for the story they have just shared and some of their research. This book is such an intricate blend of fact and fiction and I loved every part of it. And I can't wait to dig into Kristina's back list as I am definitely a new fan of this author!!!
The Edge of Lost by Kristina McMorris is one of the She Reads "Books of Winter" reading selection picks.
Head over to the She Reads website to read reviews and related posts of this book, as well as posts related to the other "Books of Winter" selections.