The Edge of Lost

The Edge of Lost

Book - 2015
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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.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Kensington Books,, [2015]
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780758281180
Branch Call Number: FIC McMor
Characteristics: 336 pages ; 21 cm


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May 23, 2016

A truly intriguing story, with many twists along the way, told in plain language, with engaging and sympathetic characters -- so, what's not to like, why only two & a half stars? In a word: Uneven pace, jarring shifts. McMorris has a tendency to do what I've seen some wide receivers in football games do: Take off running before they manage to catch the ball. In the interest of keeping the story moving along (knowing that she has a lot of ground to cover, with many plot turns still to come) she makes several breezy leaps ahead without taking the reader along for the ride -- "Oh, by the way, a bunch of other stuff happened awhile back, so now the relationship between two characters has been progressing along new lines, I'm sure you will catch up soon ...." The problem I have with that technique is that we miss out on the potential richness of character development and complexity of growing relationships. It was sort of like a Readers Digest Condensed Book or literary speed-dating. Perhaps McMorris underestimates the patience of her reader. For me, the effect was to make Shan's story a lightweight tale when it deserved to be treated more seriously. The devestation and terrible sense of loss due to being wrongly convicted; the miraculous blossoming of Shan's relationship with ten-year-old Sadie; his conflicted encounters with Josie; the complexity of his relationship with Nick; all of these (and several more) had narrative potential and depth of feeling that was not realized, because McMorris never took the time to explore them fully. Several of the twists near the end were more complicated and far fetched than they needed to be -- again leaving an impression of slip-shod haste to wrap things up neatly.
Too bad; her story could have been much better than it became.

Jan 29, 2016

I couldn't put this book down. I was up half the night reading it and thought about it the entire next day. I couldn't wait to get back to it. Plus, the ending was really surprising. Bonus when I learned it was by a local author. Looking forward to reading other books she's written.

Jan 17, 2016

This wasn't the story I was expecting. I thought it was going to be about solving the mystery of a lost girl on Alcatraz. Unfortunately, that ended up only being a small part of the book. The book is actually about the life and times of a young Irish immigrant taken in by an Italian family during the 1920s. The story style reminded me of the the first couple of books in the Clifton Chronicles series by Jeffrey Archer. Just Ok, not great.

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