On the Edge is one of the best debut novels I’ve read in a long time. Okay, it takes a while to find itself at the beginning and not everyone will enjoy the first person present tense narration (and that could by why I found the beginning difficult), but it’s worth the effort.
Kristen Craemer is an LA interior designer who is running. She can no longer run in real life, so now she runs in her dreams, and the dreams always turn into nightmares and they always lead her to water—the magnificent Pacific Ocean. Her life is slowly unravelling: she’s making mistakes at work, therapy isn’t helping, and nor is the liquid diet of drugs and alcohol.
Then she meets Jesus-freak Ethan Adams, and soon finds two awkward things: she likes him (as in, really likes him) even though he’s a Jesus-freak, and their mothers are in the same addiction therapy group. So this is a story of a woman whose messed-up childhood is still affecting her adult life, and meeting a guy with a messed-up childhood who seems to have it all together.
One of the difficult parts of writing a review of a book isn't what you put in to the review, but what you leave out. Readers and authors, quite understandably, don't want book reviews to include plot spoilers. But some readers also want to be warned about certain aspects of the book they might not want to read. Some reviewers call these trigger warnings: content that might act as a trigger for some readers.
And here's the problem. I want (need?) to include some trigger warnings for On the Edge, but to tell you any more would act as a spoiler. So be warned: if you read reviews to find out if there's anything in the book you want to avoid, you might be best avoiding On the Edge.
But you’d be missing out. The plot and characters are outstanding. The writing is outstanding—I loved lines like this:
This Kierkegaard writes so deep, he makes my brain ache.It’s not typical Christian fiction (too much alcohol, too many drugs), but I think this is what Christian fiction should be: real. Telling difficult stories, and showing Jesus in the lives of characters. Not preaching. Basically, the whole book was outstanding, and you should read it. Unless the triggers . . .
Thanks to Breath of Fresh Air Press for providing a free ebook for review. Although I’ve now bought the paperback as well. Yes, it was that good.
You can find out more about Theresa Santy at her website: http://www.theresasanty.com/, and you can read the introduction to On the Edge below: