Tuesday 20 October 2020

Book review : Where The Edge Is - Gráinne Murphy

Where The Edge Is is the new release from début author Gráinne Murphy, an Irish author whose second novel, The Ghostlights, is set for release in 2020.

The book is set in a sleepy, rural, Irish town, where, as the day begins, a road subsides, trapping five passengers inside a bus. Rescue workers are rapidly called in to deal with the nail-biting scene. Two of the passengers manage to get out of the bus but it falls deeper into the hole before the others can be released. Watched by the unrelenting eye of the media, their lives hang in the balance.

The bus accident, dramatic as it may be, soon fades into the background though, as the book starts to delve into the lives, past and present, of those involved in the scene. From Richie, the bus driver pulled from the wreckage, to Nina, the reporter covering the story, and on to the rescue workers trying to save the passengers, each character reveals their struggles that their lives have thrown at them. 

So many painful emotions and events have gone into making the people currently at the scene - racism, family issues, relationships, homelessness, even the death of a child, ... Each character reveals their hidden stories and links to the other characters and some of them are painfully tragic. A wide range of different people are revealed, in terms of origin, social context and personal tragedy. The story of the bus becomes much less powerful when the reader hears of these new stories and personal dramas - in fact, the bus, teetering on the edge, could even be seen as a symbol of the characters themselves, lurching around on a fragile cliff edge as they try to come to terms with their own personal stories and identities.

It's a book that is big on emotions, less so on action. This isn't a problem, unless you've read the blurb on the back of the book and are expecting a heart-stopping story of a dangerous bus rescue. While there are moments of humour, it is ultimately a book that will leave you feeling down-hearted as you ponder the tragedies that some people in this world have been through and how they have come back from them. I can see this being a great choice for book clubs as it will offer great opportunities to explore a wide range of characters and themes.

star rating : 4/5

  • Paperback : 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1789559413
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1789559415
  • Product Dimensions : 19.7 x 2.4 x 13 cm
  • Publisher : Legend Press (15 Sept. 2020)
  • Language: : English

Disclosure : I received a review copy of the book.

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