THE EDGE OF BELONGING
by AMANDA COX
Genre: Christian Contemporary Fiction
Date of Publication: September 8, 2020
Number of Pages: 400
Scroll down for the giveaway!
When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee her late grandmother’s estate sale, she soon discovers that the woman left behind more than trinkets and photo frames—she provided a path to the truth behind Ivy’s adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing.
Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless. When he becomes entwined with two people seeking to help him find his way, Harvey knows he must keep the baby a secret or risk losing the only person he’s ever loved.
In this dual-timeline story from debut novelist Amanda Cox, the truth—both the search for it and the desire to keep it from others—takes center stage as Ivy and Harvey grapple with love, loss, and letting go.
When I picked up The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox, I knew that I was in for an emotional ride. Any book about family secrets will do that to a person, but the idea that your true origin story has been kept from you for over 20 years… I couldn’t imagine it. I also couldn’t figure out why Ivy’s adoptive family didn’t just tell her where she came from. But I guess there wouldn’t be much of a story if they had just laid it all out!
I have read many novels that alternate between characters and/or time periods, but Cox uses the technique masterfully. The chapter lengths are perfect with nice little cliffhangers that make you groan a little because you want to keep going. But then the revelations that occur with each new chapter, flipping between the two timelines, are so riveting as the big picture is slowly but surely shaded in with deliberate strokes and increasing pressure.
I admire the framework that Cox must have laid out for this story to take shape. As connections are realized between the different characters, it feels like we aren’t getting any closer to finding out why the details of Ivy’s adoption are not out in the open. When it finally dawned on me that I would just have to read patiently to find the answer, I was able to sit back and ponder Ivy’s hangups.
For someone who is so very loved and supported, I was confused by how Ivy could fall into such an abusive relationship with Seth. I know that situation could happen to anyone, but I feel like people more often are easy prey when they have had to look for love and approval during their formative years. As I learned more about Ivy’s origin story, the concept of nature vs nurture came to mind. But also, hearing how the people in Ivy’s small town speculated about her backstory within earshot of her probably had a lot to do with it as well.
I really enjoyed this book and how it was such an active read despite the unrushed pace. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a feel good story that truly lifts the spirit. If you’re not into Christian books, don’t be put off by the labeling. Cox doesn’t hit you over the head with the Bible and the characters are very real without the usual Christian filters.
Amanda Cox is a blogger and a curriculum developer for a national nonprofit youth leadership organization, but her first love is communicating through story.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible and theology and a master’s degree in professional counseling. Her studies and her interactions with hurting families over a decade have allowed her to create multidimensional characters that connect emotionally with readers.
Amanda lives in Tennessee with her husband and their three children.
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
1st: Copy of The Edge of Belonging + Fern Tote Bag
+ $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card
2nd and 3rd: Copy of The Edge of Belonging
+ $10 Barnes and Noble Gift Card
September 1-11, 2020
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