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Publisher's Summary

On a cold night in October 1937, searchlights cut through the darkness around Alcatraz. A prison guard's only daughter - one of the youngest civilians who lives on the island - has gone missing. Tending the warden's greenhouse, convicted bank robber Tommy Capello waits anxiously. Only he knows the truth about the little girl's whereabouts and that both of their lives depend on the search's outcome.

Almost two decades earlier and thousands of miles away, a young boy named Shanley Keagan ekes out a living as an aspiring vaudevillian in Dublin pubs. Talented and shrewd, Shan dreams of shedding his dingy existence and finding his real father in America. The chance finally comes to cross the Atlantic, but when tragedy strikes, Shan must summon all his ingenuity to forge a new life in a volatile and foreign world.

Skillfully weaving these two stories, Kristina McMorris delivers a compelling novel that moves from Ireland to New York to the San Francisco Bay. As her finely crafted characters discover the true nature of loyalty, sacrifice, and betrayal, they are forced to confront the lies we tell - and believe - in order to survive.

©2015 Kristina McMorris (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"The story will grab your heart on page one and won't let go until the end - and if you're like me, not even then." (Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants)

What listeners say about The Edge of Lost

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    967
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    687
  • 3 Stars
    301
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    66
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    45
Performance
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    1,154
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    26
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Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    864
  • 4 Stars
    583
  • 3 Stars
    283
  • 2 Stars
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    41

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An incredible story.

This was a most engaging story. I have been ill and could not sleep so decided to listen instead of reading it. The characters are so well developed, I felt I knew them personally. The setting was well researched and I was transported to that time. Finally the narration by Charlie Thurston was excellent. He had different voices for each speaker and was a master of Italian, Irish and American accents. It was seamlessly done. It was quite a long book, but worth the time.

57 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A SURPRIZE!

I thought this would just be a light listen after LIVING in Kate Morton's last WONDERFUL book.
This story pulls you in from the beginning & just get better & better. Is it one of those everything works out in the end stories? For the most part yes! Who wants to read a book that is full of unresolved tragedy? I admit, though, I was not expecting the end! I actually laughed out loud!
The narrator nailed the Irish, Italian, and New York accents. Don't pass this one by.

91 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Compelling orphan story spanning over 30 years.

The Edge of Lost is a compelling novel of one young orphan's struggle in search of family. The story spans decades, starting with the Great War, the Prohibition era, and ending before WWII. It also spans two continents, starting in Dublin, Ireland with a large portion set in New York and on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco.

What I loved most about this story is the main character. He is always true to himself. Faced with extraordinary life experiences and several terrible circumstances, he never loses hope and forges ahead. He is a kind hearted soul and grows up to be a good natured man.

The writing is amazing as it has a way of sucking you in and won't let you go until you finish listening to it. Plus you can't stop thinking about it!!! After several surprising turns, the story comes full circle (I love books that do this!). The Edge of Lost concludes in Ireland with hope, friendship, and new beginnings - and most importantly, family.

60 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Difficult to finish

What disappointed you about The Edge of Lost?

The verbiage. This is a very simple, very predictable book that is expanded by way to much word trash. It just goes on and on and on. I thought we would never get to anything of substance and when we did it was very hokey

Has The Edge of Lost turned you off from other books in this genre?

yes

Which character – as performed by Charlie Thurston – was your favorite?

Shane.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Edge of Lost?

About the first 60 percent of the book. It is a typical Irish Orphan story. It goes on and on. The prison escape was good but the rest was way over done. The ending is horrible. Really all except the prison escape is horrible

Any additional comments?

The writer needs an editor or more

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

You must listen

I loved this book!!! I didn't want it to end! I definitely recommend it.
It's not your typical book where you can guess what will happen next. I was pleasantly surprised with each twist of the plot.

40 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing!

Well written and well read, this is a book to savor, to enjoy. The narration allows you to be there, whether it is on the streets of Dublin or New York. I urge everyone to get this book!

27 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Clichés and sloppy research

Based on the reviews, I was expecting a decent story but instead was rewarded with a smattering of Wikipedia research and 1930s movie cliches. everything about this novel could have been in a Shirley Temple movie or a Hardy Boys adventure . the prose was okay , but the lack of style didn't help the shallow characters at all. The resolution of the key plot point was particularly galling, requiring a massive suspension of disbelief. This book made me angry, taking my time and returning nothing in exchange.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Got out of this one quickly.

What would have made The Edge of Lost better?

To be fair, I didn't give the book much of a chance. I listen to Audible books for almost two hours a day while walking my dog. A good book engrosses my attention almost completely. I might or might not bother to finish a so-so book. I usually return a truly bad book after reading only the first few chapters. This book turned me off in mere minutes. I can't comment on the plot because none was discernible so early in the book. The writing style left much to be desired. For example, the similes, metaphors and other descriptive writing tools were cheesy and trite. The opening chapter--a child gone missing on Alcatraz--lacked cohesion and flow and had nothing to do with the next chapter about an abused boy in Ireland during The Troubles. I understand that the author eventually ties the two story lines together. I don't care to wade through more of this book to see what happens. If I had examined this book in print form in a book store and had read the first few pages, I would have put it back on the shelf.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Don't know yet.

How could the performance have been better?

The narrator was OK. Even a good narrator can only work a certain amount of magic with a mediocre book. But in the second chapter, the narrator switched to an irritating interpretation of an Irish accent and provided the last straw of disappointment. I was done with this book.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

This question is answered above.

Any additional comments?

As much as I disliked what I read, I am only one person with my own biases and preferences. Clearly this book appealed to many people. So does junk food, but that doesn't make me want to eat it. You might like this book more than I ever could. Just one suggestion--listen to the book soon after purchasing it, in case you decide to return it to Audible. I let the book sit too long in my library before I gave it a try. Now I can't get my money back. Lesson learned!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

The edge of adulthood

C'mon, Audible - make a note when the book is really young adult! This is very simply written, with a predictable plot, and the narration is really cheesy. Waste of a credit.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

this book ticked me off at first

So the detail of the writing is apparent from the start and I love that in a book but the author starts the book out with a story then abruptly switches to another that in its self is OK but the second story seemingly has nothing at all to do with the first and drags on forever. it wasn't until half way through the book that I realized the two were indeed inter connected and the reason for the second became apparent. I also loved the way this ended. I won't spoil it by saying if it was deserving, tragic, or singeing else but the summation of the book was a good one. worth the purchase

9 people found this helpful