A great book! Addictive reading; one of those books that's hard to put down. I read half of the book in one sitting, which might not be much for some readers but quite a lot of reading for me. I am a new fan of Kristina McMorris. I first saw her book on Goodreads and the storyline appealed to me. Of course, I wont fib, the cover is what initially drew my eye. I've made no secret of being a sucker for a lovely book cover. There happened to be a giveaway about a week later and luckily, I won. Out of all the giveaways I'd entered in October and November, this was that one giveaway I really hoped to win. I squealed with delight when I was notified of winning. The prize consisted of a personalized signed copy (Yay!), sea salt chocolate, and a cute compass pendant necklace. (The compass ties in with the story.) I really got lucky because not only did I win a signed book, I found an interesting new author to read and follow. Since beginning The Edge of Lost, I've purchased two more of McMorris's books, Bridge of Scarlet Leaves and Letters from Home. McMorris writes stories that mostly occur during WWII and I've always enjoyed stories that center around this historical time. I love the writing style and the flow. I don't think I was at one time bored. Ya know how a story can lag? Didn't happen once. The characters were excellent. All likable. When I became comfortable with the direction of the storyline, the author surprised me time and again with an unseen twist. I'm pretty good at sniffing out a plot long before I'm expected to so I appreciated the "OMG" moments. The historical detail was wonderful. My mom has been to Alcatraz and said it was, by far, one of the most fascinating tours she's ever experienced. McMorris does a clever job of slipping in actual prisoners of the book's time frame. The whole Alcatraz thing has always interested me. The story gives a dark idea of what it must have been like for the hardened criminals that resided on Devil's Island. I learned some very interesting facts about Alcatraz, such as the "Rules of Silence" that may have been responsible for driving prisoners mad. Most intriguing, was learning that the prison grounds contained a greenhouse with luscious flowers and roses where the main protagonist, Shanley Keagan, spends some of his prison term tending to the gardens. Surprisingly, there were also prison staff families living on the island in employee housing. I had no clue. McMorris got the idea for this book while searching online and ran across a documentary titled Children of Alcatraz. Of course, as with all historical fiction, McMorris did take a few liberties with facts to fit the storyline but, it's still all very believable.
Shanley Keagan's life begins in Ireland. After his mam dies he's left with an abusive uncle. Shan accidentally learns that he may have been fathered by an American named John Lewis. Headed to America with his uncle, who does nothing but exploit poor Shan, circumstances suddenly change for the young lad and Shan finds himself in Brooklyn with a chance to start a new life with a new family. Life has a strange way of intervening and Shanley Keagan is forced to make decisions that will consequently take him to hell and back. I absolutely recommend this book. On point!
*Thanks so very much to the Goodreads giveaway and Kristina McMorris for sponsoring a giveaway that I'm so happy to have won. I received a beautiful signed copy and offer my review in exchange. Opinions are my own.