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.
As I read this book, I was amazed that a debut novel could touch me so deeply. From the first paragraph, when I met Harvey James for the first time, until the closing lines, I was mesmerized by this story. The Edge of Belonging is told in dual-time, alternating between 1994 and the present, but these times blend together so that I felt like I was seeing a movie unfold. Harvey James, who felt like he had never belonged, grabbed my heart when he found a newborn baby abandoned in weeds along a busy highway and decided that this baby would be treasured as he himself had never been. Move to present day and the story focuses on counselor Ivy Rose and newly discovered secrets of her past that will forever alter her future.
Author Amanda Cox has created a cast of remarkable characters, including Harvey, Ivy, Pearl, Rose, and Reese and she tells their stories with memorable words that often made me cry.
"Those people in children's services, they try to do a good job. But it's not the same as being loved by a mom and dad. It's not love when you can be given back when it gets tough."
"Above all, Christ called her his and was gracious enough to give her people to remind her if she lost her way."
"I think...I still can't believe I get to watch this beautiful life of yours unfold."
Cox tackles some heavy topics, such as abandonment, abuse, addiction, and depression but she buffers them with love, hope, and the realization that a family unit can be created by more than blood ties. She also shows that there is mercy and grace through the power of God's love.
If you enjoy contemporary Christian fiction, you absolutely need to read this book. I predict that Amanda Cox and The Edge of Belonging will be mentioned quite often in the months ahead and I wish that I could give it more than 5 Stars!
I received a copy of this book from Revell. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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