17 January, 2017

The edge of lost by Kristina McMorris

This enthralling story of an immigrant to America in the early part of the 20th century covers a lot of ground and delivers an unexpected ending.

In 1919 young Irish boy, Shan Keagan, is living in Dublin with his indifferent uncle and performing in pubs to make money. When he discoverers his birth father was an American soldier he dreams of travelling to New York to find him. The opportunity arises and he and his uncle join the hundreds of people hoping for a better life in America. However, his arrival in New York is not quite as he had expected.

Nearly twenty years later, Tommy Capello, an inmate of Alcatraz prison, is working as a gardener when a prison guard’s young daughter goes missing.

There is a connection between these two stories but it is not apparent until well into the book and when you do realise, you wonder why you hadn’t made the connection earlier.

I enjoyed reading about the different locations and situations introduced in the story, from grimy Dublin, to New York boroughs, burlesque clubs and the famous Alcatraz.

There’s also a huge range of characters, both appealing and not.

From the cover image of a child looking towards Alcatraz, I was expecting the story to only focus on the prison search, but was pleased to find so much more. The themes of hope and survival are subtle but leave you thinking about how the choices we make change the directions of our lives.

Title: The edge of lost
Author: Kristina McMorris

Recommended by Kathy N, Collections Development

Kathy N can’t sleep unless she has read a bit before turning the light off. As well as most fiction, she enjoys craft and lifestyle books to get project ideas for her rural home. She spends much of her working day buying books for Auckland Libraries.

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