The Edge of the Earth by Christina Swarz – Book Review

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I received a free copy of The Edge of the Earth from the publisher for my honest review.

About the Book:

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. 

About the Author:

Christina Schwarz is the author of three previous novels, including Oprah Book Club pick Drowning Ruth. Born and raised in rural Wisconsin, she lives in Southern California.

My Opinion:

This is an historical novel, yet it is more about ordinary people than about any great historical event or person. The cover truly drew me in; I know that is the worst reason to either choose or reject a book but marketers know the power of a great cover,. This one screams of mystery and of a story to be told. While the book did not wholeheartedly live up to its cover it came darn close.

Trudy is young woman of the upper middle class in Wisconson at the end of the 19th century. Her parents have her life all planned out for her – whether she likes what they are planning or not! She feels there must be more out there than pleasant housewifery in a pleasant house in a pleasant neighborhood with a pleasant husband so when presented with two men she chooses the one that excites her, not the one that is….pleasant.  Despite her parents’ objections she runs off with Oskar to life a somewhat secluded life as a lightkeeper’s wife. An assistant lightkeeper’s wife actually. When she arrives she finds that it is not what she was envisioning and yet so very much more.

As she settles in to the life she has now chosen she becomes the teacher to the current lightkeeper’s children. They in turn teach her about the sea and the creatures that appear from it. Trudy learns that life does not always turn out as one dreams and that people often disappoint. She also learns just how strong a woman she is.

I am not going to spill any secrets but know there are several that keep the reader engaged despite the fact that the book rolls along as if on a calm sea, not the raging and foggy ones that require the lighthouses. The story is a touch slow at first but picks up and really roars about midway through. Trudy is a fascinating character; neither all good nor bad but wanting more out of life than it was choosing to give her.

Ms. Swarz has a very magical way with mood; you will feel as if you are there with both families tending that lighthouse, exploring the island and its caves and shoreline. Definitely a book I was glad I read.


You can purchase The Edge of the Earth on

Disclosure: I received a free copy of The Edge of the Earth from the publisher for my honest review.

I received no compensation for this post.


  1. says

    I’m a cover snob, love Lighthouses and the ocean, so I definitely love this cover. I’m not a lover of historical fiction, but from your review, I think I’d enjoy this book. I’m adding it to my TBR list!

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