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The Edge of the Earth

A Novel

Christina Schwarz

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

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.

Publishers Weekly Review

Jan 28, 2013 – In her impressive fourth novel, Schwarz (Drowning Ruth) illuminates the difficult lives led by lighthouse keepers in the late 1890s. Well-schooled Trudy (Gertrude) Schroeder abandons both her well-ordered life as a teacher in Milwaukee, Wis., and her engagement to childhood friend Ernst Dettweiler after she falls for and marries his cousin, Oskar Swann. An unconventional dreamer, Oskar decides to move to California to work in a lighthouse. Life at isolated Point Lucia is both austere and an exciting adventure, as Trudy and Oskar join chief lighthouse keeper Henry Crawley and his family. Trudy sets up a makeshift classroom for Henry’s four delightful children to study marine life, shortly afterward starting a business that supplies the illustrations and specimens she’s collected to biologists around the country. Schwarz captures fascinating details of how people survived in the late 19th century in such barren settings, but she goes off course when she introduces a new character, a mysterious Native American woman whom the children mistake for a mermaid. The disconcertingly abrupt tragedy that concludes this plot thread is disruptive, but fortunately, it doesn’t detract too much from an otherwise compelling period story.

Customer Reviews

Thank you, Christina

This is an outstanding read. I would think anyone who reads this would just rush to re-read the opening chapter again to bring everything full circle. I finished the book yesterday and have re-read the last two chapters and the first chapter several times since. What a moving book! I was going to read something else next, but I'm off to read Christina Schwarz's first novel. I simply need to fill my spirit with more of that kind of writing.

I should say that I'm a guy. I avoid so-called "chick-lit". But there are a few books that rise above categories and labels. This is one of those. I was reminded when reading this of how much I enjoyed "A Thousand Acres" and "The Poisonwood Bible." To the extent that this isn't in that league it's really only because it's so much shorter than those two books. The quality of writing, the sense of place and time, and the degree to which the reader is drawn in is very much the same.

In sum, thank you Christina! Come to Chicago and speak so we can all listen to you talk about your books!

The Edge of the Earth
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  • $10.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: Apr 02, 2013
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings