Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE EDGE OF THE EARTH by Christina Schwarz
From the dust jacket:
Trudy, who can argue Kant over dinner and play a respectable portion of Mozart's Serenade in G major, has been raised to marry her childhood friend and assume a live of bourgeois comfort in Milwaukee. She knows she should be pleased, but she's restless instead, yearning for something she lacks even the vocabulary to articulate. When she falls in love with enigmatic and ambitious Oskar, she believes she's found her escape from the banality of her preordained life.
But escape turns out to be more fraught than Trudy had imagined. Alienated from family and friends, the couple moves across the country to take a job at a lighthouse at Point Lucia, California - an unnervingly isolated outcropping, trapped between the ocean and hundreds of miles of inaccessible wilderness. There they meet the light station's only inhabitants - the formidable and guarded Crawleys. In this unfamiliar place, Trudy will find that nothing is as she might have predicted, especially after she discovers what hides among the rocks.
It is impossible not to admire Trudy, who is sacrifices her home, friends and family to seek a life of adventure with the charming but troubled Oskar. At first, she is overwhelmed with the isolation of her surroundings, homesickness, and concerns over her husband's increasingly erratic behavior. But as time goes by, she becomes accustomed to the rhythm of the days and begins to lets go of the conventions of her former life. Eventually, she comes to befriend the Crawleys and becomes their children's teacher, helping them learn to read, write and do sums. In turn, they teach her about the sea creatures that surround them. Together, they begin to identify and catalogue the rich variety of flora and fauna.
As time goes by, Trudy begins to understand that her husband is nothing but a dreamer with great ideas but lack of ability to see his projects through from beginning to end. When he comes up with a scheme to achieve fame through the exploitation of a native woman who lives in a cave nearby, Trudy is forced to choose between the man she loves and doing what she believes is right. Her last-minute decision affects the lives of everyone on the island and irrevocably changes the course of her own life.
This book has it all: history, science, romance, suspense, an irresistible setting and a great cast of characters. It will transport you far away from your everyday life and keep you turning the pages, reluctant to return when you reach the end. Five stars! Recommended!
NOTE: I received a copy of this book for FREE in exchange for a written review. There was no expectation that this review be either positive or negative, and I was not given any financial compensation to read the book or write the review. This information is disclosed in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 [...] Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.