Thursday, July 11, 2013

Audiobook Review: The Edge of the Earth by Christina Schwarz

Title:  The Edge of the Earth

Author:  Christina Schwarz

Narrator:  Candace Thaxton

Unabridged Lgth:  8hrs, 26 mn

Here is a summary of the book from the publisher's website:

In 1898, a woman forsakes the comfort of home and family for a love that takes her to a remote lighthouse on the wild coast of California. What she finds at the edge of the earth, hidden between the sea and the fog, will change her life irrevocably.

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 life 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.

Gorgeously detailed, swiftly paced, and anchored in the dramatic geography of the remote and eternally mesmerizing Big Sur, The Edge of the Earth is a magical story of secrets and self-transformation, ruses and rebirths. Christina Schwarz, celebrated for her rich evocation of place and vivid, unpredictable characters, has spun another haunting and unforgettable tale. 

My Review:
This was a lovely story that has us following Trudy across the country to an unknown land.  She leaves the comfort and safety of her family home in Milwaukee as she puts her trust and love in Oskar to lead her in the right direction.  Oskar is young, full of dreams and new ideas, and feels that living near the ocean in California will help him realize his dreams that much sooner.

Trudy does not expect the life that she finds in California.  It is a wild savage country and her loneliness is apparent without friends and family near her.  She finds herself missing the comforts of home when she enters the lighthouse they are to call home.  Food is scarce and all resources must be utilized, not wasting a single drop of water.

The Crawleys are basically the only neighbors Trudy has to keep her company.  For the most part, Mrs. Crawley is all business most of the time, but every now and then a side of her shines, offering friendship and refuge.  Thankfully, Mrs. Crawley is kind enough to show Trudy the ropes and offer advice for new tasks.  Since Mrs. Crawley has a few children that are always underfoot, she suggests that Trudy start teaching them on a daily basis.  The teaching lessons give Trudy something to look forward to, and even open up a new world for her.

The Crawleys, Trudy, and Oskar all develop a friendship, as there are no others around to associate with.  When Trudy makes a discovery through her lessons with the children, she finds that each of these friendships could shatter by the wrong move.  Trudy wants to support her husband, but in the end finds she must do what her heart is telling her is right.

I think Thaxton did a great job of narrating Trudy's story and I thoroughly enjoyed this novel in the audio form.  My only problem with the audiobook is that I found myself confused at the beginning and end.  Someone was telling Trudy's story and I'm not sure who it was in the beginning and how that person was associated with her.  Had I read it in book form I could flip back and figure it out.  I suppose I could just listen to the beginning on my iPod again to clarify though.  With themes of dreams, hopes, secrets, and family this book has much to offer for both book clubs and personal leisure.  I don't hesitate in recommending this novel.

My Rating:  4/5

Disclosure:  This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 


bermudaonion said...

Things can be confusing on audios sometimes, but I generally figure things out if I stick with them. This book sounds terrific!

Angie Vik said...

Sounds like an interesting book. I like California, oceans, and lighthouses so it's bound to be good.

Ian said...

This is fantastic!