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October 7, 2020

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"People considered him homeless because he didn't have an address of his own, but Harvey James would've been homeless even if he owned the turreted mansion on State Route 460.  To have a home, you'd have to feel as though you belonged.  The edge of the highway was the closest he'd ever been." (p 7)
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The Edge of Belonging
September 2020; Revell; 978-0800739188
audio, ebook, print (402 pages); women's fiction
This debut novel by Amanda Cox is a well-written novel about creating a family out of the people that you love.  The characters are well written and though I had a favorite, they are all very real.  The Edge of Belonging is a dual timeline and I enjoyed both timelines equally and was eager to see them brought together at the end.

1994 - Harvey James is homeless and lives in a lean-to in the woods.  He has never felt loved or cared for and when he finds an abandoned newborn baby in the woods, he decides to raise her so that she will feel love right from the beginning of her life.  It's tough for a homeless man to raise a baby and when he is caught stealing formula and diapers from a local church pantry, it actually becomes a blessing when the pastor offers him a job as groundskeeper at the church.  Harvey tries to keep Ivy a secret from the pastor and the nosy woman next door but life has a way of changing things and soon Pearl finds out about the baby and instead of turning the baby over to social services, she helps Harvey take care of Ivy.  

Present Day - Ivy has just broken up with her very controlling fiancé and has returned home to help settle her grandmother Pearl's estate.  Even though she has been raised by wonderful parents, she still wants to know about her birth family and how her parents adopted her.  The basic facts of her adoption have been kept secret from her for her entire life.  She also begins to spend time with Reese, her best friend from childhood and as they spend more time together as adults, it appears that there may be a romance in bloom but Ivy is still suffering from the trauma caused by the verbal abuse and control by her fiancé. 

I really liked all of the characters - except for the controlling fiancé - but my favorite was Harvey.  He is such an amazing and caring person despite the problems that he had growing up. Seeing his love and care for baby Ivy was very touching and watching him grow and learn to accept love and help from others was wonderful to read about.

This is a wonderful novel about love and family, secrets, and redemption. I highly recommend it.

Buy The Edge of Belonging at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter

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