Friday, September 25, 2020

Review: "The Edge of Belonging" by Amanda Cox

I'll be honest: I picked up this book because of the cover. Isn't it gorgeous? Fortunately, the story inside is just as beautiful as the cover.

When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee an estate sale, she soon discovers that her grandmother 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-time 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.

Sometimes, we're tempted to doubt what impact one person can have on those around them. Especially those who are on the margins of society. Harvey James is a man many would ignore - even scorn - throughout much of this novel. But his impact, set in motion far before he became a "respectable" member of society, shows just how important we all are, and how our lives are so incredibly intertwined.

This is a time-slip novel with the present belonging to Ivy Rose and her journey toward true freedom, while the past largely belongs to Harvey. I loved the way author Amanda Cox wove the past and present together, highlighting the way strangers could impact each other and eventually become family. The novel deals with so many heavy topics - including abuse, abandonment, infertility, depression, and suicide - but there's also a lightness to it, a reassurance that, even amidst the terrible, good can come. I closed this novel with a tear in my eye and a satisfied sigh. This is a truly beautiful novel, one that I'll be thinking about for a long time. 5 stars.

Buy the book (affiliate link).

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.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell through the Revell Reads program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click the link and make a purchase, I will get a small commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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