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The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox

About the Book

Title: The Edge of Belonging

Author: Amanda Cox

Publisher: Revell

Released: September 2020

Genre: Christian Dual-Time, Contemporary

When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee an estate sale, she soon discovers that her grandmother left behind more than trinkets and photo frames–she provided a path to the truth behind Ivy’s adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing.

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-time 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. 

My Impressions

The Edge of Belonging is such a spellbinding, dual-time novel from Amanda Cox. I foresee Edge of Belonging winning an award for debut novels. For myself, I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the page. Heart-rending themes such as foster homes, homelessness, human trafficking, depression, and PTSD are dealt with from both the sufferer’s and a loving helper’s POV. The raw loneliness hurt, and need that several of the characters experience is portrayed so poignantly. It seems each character in the earlier story (Harvey, Pearl, Thom, and Miriam) feels they are on the edge of belonging to some degree.

In the later story, Ivy is the focal point who feels like she doesn’t quite belong, but her best friend Reese has often struggled with those same sentiments. I was thrilled to see how the book’s title applied to so many. I also loved seeing the hope and mercy that certain characters, especially Pearl and Reese, generously dole out to others. Again, so many of Ms. Cox’s characters show significant growth by the end of the story.
While it is easy to see early on where the stories will connect, there remains the fascination of just how Ms. Cox is going to work it all out.


I usually like to pick a favorite character, but they were all faves. I love Reese for his steadiness and undying care. Harvey, for the way he supersedes his own fears to love another. And Pearl, for her radar to find and genuinely love lost souls.
Get your own copy of this must-read debut!
I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through Revell Reads via NetGalley. All opinions are my own and no positive review was required.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!

Amanda Cox is a blogger and a curriculum developer for a national nonprofit youth leadership organization, but her first love is communicating through story. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible and theology and a master’s degree in professional counseling. Her studies and her interactions with hurting families over a decade have allowed her to create multidimensional characters that connect emotionally with readers.

Connect with Amanda on her website at https://amandacoxwrites.com

or on Twitter @amandacoxwrites

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The Mending of Lillian Cathleen, #2 Women of Rock Creek by Linda Brooks Davis

About the Book

Book Title: The Mending of Lillian Cathleen

Author: Linda Brooks Davis

Genre: Historical

Release date: October, 2018

It’s 1914. American women are demanding the vote. And the first flames of the Great War are igniting Europe. But a battle of a different sort rages in Oklahoma.

The thermometer registers one hundred six degrees, an out-of-the-ordinary occurrence even for the twenty-eighth day of July. But this is no ordinary day.

The jury has reached a verdict.

Lily fidgets in the old church pew. Her name has clotted into a by-word. Her blood is tainted. Can she right the wrongs? Or will her past forever define her?

She eyes the judge. And the courtroom holds its breath.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

MY REVIEW:

The Mending of Lillian Cathleen by Linda Brooks Davis turned out to be quite a surprise. I was expecting a simple historical romance. Instead, what I read was a novel set in the early twentieth century, involving some romance, but more importantly delving into the taboo world of human trafficking of young girls. Nearly beaten to death by her no-account father, Lily goes to live with a rich, generous neighbor. When her benefactor leaves for Europe, Lily also chooses to leave behind the town that rejected her testimony because she was female.

When the job Lily expected to take in Ft. Worth is given to another, Lily finds herself following a circuitous path to assisting in the fight for women’s rights to vote, as well as helping the despised avoided women of Texas.

I loved that Ida, Cade, Maggie, and others each lovingly urged Lily to consider how God could influence her life. Lily’s question throughout much of the novel is, ”where was God when…” Davis deals with this question realistically, without giving pat answers, yet shows that God indeed is present and caring, even in the midst of unspeakable evil.

One of my favorite characters is Maggie. She has such wisdom amidst her personal heartache. One such evidence: ”But you’ll never plow a field by turning it over and over in your mind.” I used to believe if I thought on something long enough, I could figure out a solution. Now I finally have realized that is just stewing. Plowing the field in my mind only.

Another ”Maggie-ism:”
“If I dwell on what’s passed me by, I’ll not enjoy what’s hovering near.”

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher and Celebrate Lit. I was not required to leave a positive review, and all opinions are solely my own.

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About the Author

Davis_LindaBrooks_2016_01-31 copy 3Linda Brooks Davis was born and reared on a farm in Raymondville, a small Rio Grande Valley community in the southernmost tip of Texas. Linda earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Pathology from Abilene Christian University and a Master’s Degree from Houston Baptist University. She retired in 2008 after forty years as a special educator and administrator. Linda and her beloved husband Al worship and minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio and dote on six grandchildren, three of whom are triplets. Readers may contact Linda through her website, www.lindabrooksdavis.com.

Linda’s debut novel, The Calling of Ella McFarland, is set in 1905 Indian Territory prior to Oklahoma statehood. It won the 2014 Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel Award. It was released in 2015 and won the 2016 American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award. The sequel novella, A Christmas to Remember, is set in 1908 Oklahoma and released in December, 2016. A second novella, A Christmas Measure of Love, released in 2017. It is set in 1910 and is a prequel to Linda’s second full-length novel, this one set in 1914, The Mending of Lily Cathleen, which releases in 2018.

 

Guest Post from Linda

Certain ancestors and their experiences appear in my stories. There’s a bit of my grandmother and a strong dash of my mother in one character. My father’s sterling qualities appear in another. And there’s a low-down family reprobate in another. Don’t forget cotton planting, hoeing, and harvest time. The glorious aroma of fresh-picked cotton and the nothing-in-the-world-like-it odor from the pig pen. A sewing machine whirring. The clink of a milk pail. A cow hollering to be milked. Summer’s sun on my face, the hearty South Texas wind in my hair, and the comfort of backing up to a wall heater on a cold winter morning. All find their way into the plot lines.

In my family’s history, my own life, and the kaleidoscope of lives in my stories, Jesus appears as the golden thread linking the past to the present and beyond. He turns an ordinary morning into a hint of the “Sweet By & By.” He adds the delicate aroma of the Rose of Sharon to the sultry stillness before a summer storm. And He wraps the bitterness of grief and failure in the richness of His incomparable grace. The Mending of Lillian Cathleen is one of those tales that reach beyond the ordinary to the extraordinary because of Jesus.

Lily’s story captures some of the heartache of domestic abuse, but it packs a powerfully joyous punch at the end. I thought I’d add a strong dash of sweet to this post with a recipe that appears in The Calling of Ella McFarland (which is re-releasing in October 2018). Mama’s (or Papa’s) Nectar of Heaven was a treat my mother enjoyed as a child. She set the same yummy delicacy before her kids, and I, of course, have done the same. Here ’tis, ya’ll, from Texas with sweet, sweet love.

 

lillian cathleen recipe

 

Blog Stops

Inklings and Notions, October 18

Multifarious, October 19

The Becca Files, October 19

The Lit Addict, October 20

Luv’N Lambert Life, October 20

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 21

Real World Bible Study, October 21

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 22

Christian Bookaholic, October 22

God’s Little Bookworm , October 23

Godly Book Reviews, October 23

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 24

A Reader’s Brain, October 24

Maureen’s Musings, October 25

Baker Kella, October 25

Just the Write Escape, October 26

Mary Hake, October 26

Janice’s Book Reviews , October 27

A Baker’s Perspective, October 27

Bibliophile Reviews, October 28

Proud to Be an Autism Mom, October 28

Texas Book-aholic, October 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 29

Bigreadersite , October 30

Carpe Diem, October 31

Lis Loves Reading, October 31

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d56e/the-mending-of-lillian-cathleen-celebration-tour-giveaway