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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Book Review: The Edge of Light by Ann Shorey

My love of books began when I was small, with my mom reading me The Diggingest Dog and Green Eggs and Ham. According to her, I wouldn't even use the toilet unless she was there to read to me! Fortunately I outgrew that habit, but my love of the printed word remained and I quickly went through every book that was handed to me at school. I even recall getting reprimanded by the teacher for reading ahead in our English book! I was always disappointed at the end of the year when we hadn't read through all of the stories; I needed more!

It's no surprise that I ended up as an adult who loves to read (and write) frequently. In this age of fast-paced technology, it's sometimes difficult to remember that there are still activities left to us that don't require a battery or electrical plug. So I like to stop for breath at least once a week and take a day or two reading a new book. I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to do this book review, and although I was given a free copy in order to write this post, that doesn't change my opinion on the author or the incredible story she had to tell. (For more on my disclosure policy please see the tab titled, 'Let me disclose to you'.

As it turns out, I was deeply entranced by author Ann Shorey's novel, The Edge of Light. (Click here to read a sample excerpt.) This story captured my attention from the very beginning - some novels tend to spend the first few pages outlining the scenery, but this book jumped right into it and I was hooked. Ms. Shorey's writing immediately pulls the reader in, and it doesn't take long to feel the pain of the main character as she faces some of life's hardest struggles.

There were several things I appreciated about this book, starting with the fact that it is not an "everything's coming up roses" book. I read a lot of books where the main character suffers a loss, but it is immediately rectified and the story proceeds. The Edge of Light is a book that builds up the tension and anxiety that you feel for the main character, a young woman named Molly. She has to fight for each and every last accomplishment or small piece of progress, and sometimes her hard efforts are turned to dust by others just as she's glimpsing the light at the end of the tunnel. I even found myself getting angry at some of the other characters for their interventions, a true sign that a book has pulled me in! At the end of the book, Molly is rewarded for her hard work, but it doesn't come without the realization that while she was strong on her own, she can be even stronger when someone is there to stand beside her.

In a charming twist, the book also follows the story of another young woman named Betsy, who is a slave to Molly's family in the beginning of the story. Molly doesn't want Betsy to be a slave and makes plans to help her become free, but the two women are brutally torn apart by Molly's cruel brother-in-law. Betsy must then make her own plans to stay safe and get away from a life that holds no promise for her.
Upon reflection of the book, I realized that I identified a lot with Molly, and her expectations for herself. Many times we women set the bar so high, we try to do so much and make all of our plans based on what will happen when we use our own strength. But all too often, as in the book, other players intercede on our behalf and can make things so much worse... or amazingly better. Any woman that has ever raised children while trying to accomplish a seemingly impossible goal will see their own struggles reflected back at them in this story.

I can safely give this book 5 stars. The "win" at the end wasn't handed to the main character, the story had depth, the characters are believable. Plus, I kept thinking about the story for weeks after, which I think is one of the best signs of a good read that there is. (Luckily, for fans who want more: there are two more books in this series.)

Thank you Ann Shorey for a delightful distraction! Ann's books can be purchased on Amazon.com, as well as BarnesAndNoble.com and ChristianBook.com. They are also available in brick-and-mortar stores, if you don't see what you're looking for when you stop in, just ask the store to order it for you! For more information, visit http://www.annshorey.com/novels!

(The giveaway that was associated with this post has expired, please check out our giveaways tab for a list of available contests!)

3 comments:

  1. Thank you, Alicia! The Edge of Light is a story that's close to my heart. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

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  2. I sure do want to read this book, please pick me to win, thanks

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  3. I hope I win so I can start reading this book! It looks great! I'm sure my mom would enjoy it too! :)

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