‘Edge of Lost’ will pull you in; hear author read Thursday

  • By Alicia Jones Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, December 2, 2015 4:29pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

In Kristina McMorris’ new book, “The Edge of Lost,” we start with Alcatraz, fog, a child missing and an inmate questioned.

And this is just the prologue.

McMorris then drops the reader into the life of one Shanley Keagan, a 12-year-old boy living in Dublin, Ireland, in 1919. We find him doing a stand-up comedy routine or at least attempting to, in a pub full of booze-filled men. His menacing guardian, Uncle Willy, is nearby at the bar.

I took an instant liking to Shan, a quick-witted, astute, and in my mind, a rather brave boy. The way he feels out the crowd, reads his audience; his young instincts honed through observation and experience, modifying his routine to try to capture this audience’s interest.

We learn soon enough that he is the bread winner in this Uncle and nephew combo. His success determines whether he goes to bed hungry or has something to eat.

And so begins our journey as we follow Shan thorough the twists and turns of his life.

McMorris manages to pack this book with all the messiness and nuances of a life. Her vivid descriptions and use of language make you feel like the “fly on the wall.”

This is a journey that catches you up in Shan’s fear and the sinuous strands of his mistrust. You can share in the surprise and uncertainty of the unexpected blessings of acceptance and unmerited kindness he receives. This is a journey tinged with guilt, buttressed by loyalty; a journey of nagging loss. This is a journey about choices and consequences foreseen and unforeseen; about humor as both salve and a lance.

Most importantly this is also a journey of Shan’s deep desire to make a place in the world, to be something more than desperate and impoverished, and to belong.

As the subtitle of the book states, “Every journey changes you.”

I heartily recommend embarking on this journey.

Kristina McMorris

7 p.m. Dec. 3, Third Place Books

The Portland author will read from her new book “The Edge of Lost” at the book store, 17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park. McMorris moves her story from Ireland to New York to San Francisco and back again, offering insights in the immigrant experience in America during the era of prohibition, vaudeville and imprisonment on Alcatraz island. This is her fourth novel.

Talk to us

More in Life

Toni Munizza, a PE teacher, founded the Cathcart Elementary Unicycle club in 1991. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
How a teacher created a lasting unicycle legacy in Cathcart

Around 1993, Toni Munizza the Cathcart Unicycle Club was formed. Some 28 years later, it’s still going strong.

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime in XSE trim with two-tone black and Supersonic Red paint. (Manufacturer photo)
Toyota expands RAV4 family with new 2021 Prime plug-in hybrid

The most powerful RAV4 also has the highest electric-only range of any PHEV SUV on the market.

Smart watches, like this Samsung Galaxy Watch3, have valuable safety features that can help you as you age. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Embracing new technology that gives security and independence

It’s important to adapt to wearing a smart watch, for example, while your brain is healthy enough to figure it out.

Pho
You voted: The best pho in Snohomish County

Even during a pandemic, people still have their favorites

You’re not lazy: The psychology behind procrastination

Psychologists say we procrastinate to avoid unpleasant emotions associated with a task, not the work itself.

Andalucía celebrates life with soul and with passion.
Rick Steves on Andalusians’ twin passions: religion and partying

After dining on the exquisite local cuisine, head outdoors for an all-night revel on the streets.

Is traveler’s annual insurance policy refundable?

After the pandemic hits, Durndord King can’t use his annual travel insurance policy from Allianz.

The Camano Wildlife Habitat Project is hosting a “Coastal River Otters” presentation on June 16 via Zoom. (Heide Island)
Outdoors classes and activities around Snohomish County

The listings include Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest updates and REI Lynnwood workshops.

Book-related events in Snohomish County.
Author events and poetry readings around Snohomish County

The listings include Third Place Books, Everett Public Library and Neverending Bookshop events.

Most Read