THE EDGE OF BELONGING
by AMANDA COX
Genre: Christian Contemporary Fiction
Date of Publication: September 8, 2020
Number of Pages: 400
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.
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The Edge of Belonging covers a vast array of topics elegantly. The dual timelines were done masterfully and as much as I love a book with a happy ending can you imagine my glee when this one held several separate yet coinciding happily ever afters. Pure gold.
The Edge of Belonging covers abandonment, PTSD, infertility, homelessness, depression, anxiety, domestic abuse, and suicide to name a few, but it covers them all with grace. These could be triggers for many, but they were handled cautiously and at a level that was not so fixated that it became insensitive. I did not realize just how many topics were covered until writing this review and reflecting on everything this story covered because it was braided together so effortlessly. I didn’t even notice the natural addition as each topic was intertwined into the plot. I felt like I was highlighting a passage every other chapter. There are some great quotes at the end of my review that resonated first for their diversity from one another to show the breadth of this novel but also to capture the depth of this piece.
The Edge of Belonging was hard to put down. It was one of those books that I was so engrossed in that I caught myself skimming sentences because I NEEDED to know what came next as soon as possible, but also enjoyed the writing so much I’d have to intentionally slow myself down so I wouldn’t miss a single detail. The Edge of Belonging was everything I could hope for in a book. It was somehow both fun yet heartwarming and mysterious yet revealing at the same time.
It’s hard to believe this was a debut novel. Amanda Cox has a way with words, and I cannot wait to see what she releases next. She will be on my radar, especially after reading the little sneak peak at the end of The Edge of Belonging. Fall 2021 cannot come soon enough! I would recommend The Edge of Belonging to anyone that loves a good romance, mystery, happily ever after, family drama, and/or contemporary fiction. It does have a sprinkle of religious sentiment throughout, but it felt natural and was well balanced, so it was not intimidating even if you usually stray away from religious pieces, I would give this one a try. I have confidence you will enjoy it.
Thank you LoneStarLit for the free review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
“It was freeing in a way, to have a family built on love by choice and not relational obligation.”
“I guess the longer you hold a secret, the harder it is to let it go.”
“If the story of my life could say one thing, I’d hope it would show the importance of venturing into the highways and the hedges to let invisible people know they’re seen and loved. To invite them in.”
“You find a use for everything. Yet you discard yourself at every opportunity.”
“She’d memorized the verse about peace that passes all understanding, but all she felt was the weight of depression.”
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.
1st: Copy of The Edge of Belonging + Fern Tote Bag + $25 B&N Gift Card
2nd and 3rd: Copy of The Edge of Belonging + $10 B&N Gift Card
September 1-11, 2020
Starting 8/30, schedule also found at:
9/1/20 - Author Interview - Forgotten Winds
9/1/20 - BONUS Promo - Hall Ways Blog
9/2/20 - Excerpt - Max Knight
9/3/20 - Review - Tangled in Text
9/4/20 - Review - Missus Gonzo
9/5/20 - Playlist - Story Schmoozing Book Reviews
9/6/20 - Author Interview - Rebecca R. Cahill, Author
9/7/20 - Review - That's What She's Reading
9/8/20 - Top Five List - The Page Unbound
9/9/20 - Review - It's Not All Gravy
9/9/20 - BONUS Promo - All the Ups and Downs
9/10/20 - Review - The Adventures of a Travelers Wife
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