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Mapping the Edge

3.23 of 5 stars 3.23  ·  rating details  ·  1,433 ratings  ·  216 reviews
Anna, a self-sufficient and reliable single mother, packs her bags one day for a short vacation to Italy. She leaves her beloved daughter at home in London with good friends. When Anna doesn’t return, everyone begins to make excuses, until the likelihood that she might not come back at all becomes chillingly clear. In this dazzling work of suspense, Sarah Dunant interweave ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 12th 2002 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1999)
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A Room with a View by E.M. ForsterThe Birth of Venus by Sarah DunantUnder the Tuscan Sun by Frances MayesThe Name of the Rose by Umberto EcoThe Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim
Reading Italy
321st out of 340 books — 97 voters
In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah DunantThe Birth of Venus by Sarah DunantExterminating Angels by Peter DunantSnowstorms in a Hot Climate by Sarah DunantFatlands by Sarah Dunant
Best of Sarah Dunant
10th out of 13 books — 2 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,495)
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Madeline
I read the other reviews of this book, and everyone else seemed to love it.
When I finished this book, I just sat there and thought, "wait...what just happened?" The two different scenarios of what could've happened to Anna while she was missing really confused me - couldn't Dunant have just picked one and expanded on it more? There seemed to be way too many holes in the two stories, especially the kidnapping scenario. The character of the kidnapper was definitely not developed enough, and I did
...more
Jenn  Marx
Definately NOT like BIRTH OF VENUS--really interesting writing idea, but not executed very well. Sarah Dunant is a great writer in how she develops each scene so you can see it like you were there, but I definately don't like her as a mystery/thriller author. This story had dual plot lines, (kind of like a "choose your own adventure" kind of a deal.) and really did not come full-circle in the end like mystery books should. The last paragraph of the book was very poorly done and really ruined the ...more
Ally
Jul 28, 2007 Ally rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mystery/thirller lovers
A good and creepy mystery/thriller. It's not one or the other, but the plot keeps you on your toes. The story is about a mother who is abducted before she is to come home from a week away in Italy. Her family at home tries to figure out why she went away alone to Italy in the first place, and when they realize she has gone missing, they pull together to try to understand the choices she's made in life and how that can help them find her and get her back home. Since it's about a woman, it hits cl ...more
Dottie
Amazing reading -- interlinked "versions" of a story leaving one to wonder where the real story exists. What a writer!

Added later: Too cryptic by far! As one reads this it seems straightfoprward enough. Two versions of a story at odds one with the other. A mystery. Which version is THE story? then the versions end. More mystery. Which version was THE version? How many versions were there? Do I know what I read? I do. I THINK. Will you know? Read it and then see what you think you know.
Elaine
Feb 10, 2008 Elaine rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nancy
Written by the author of "The Birth of Venus", this contemporary novel takes place in London and Florence, with some references to Amsterdam. It's a suspenseful story told from the viewpoints of two best friends after one of them goes missing. Some of the topics explored are motherhood and parenting, careers, friendship, and occasionally living on the wild side. I was captivated by the story and read it in one day because I wanted to find out what happens!
Sharon
Last year I read Transgressions by the same author and was really irritated and annoyed by it despite a promising start. This year I read another of her books, this one - Mapping The Edge. Sarah Dunant can write, of that there is no doubt, in fact I really like her style, but her storylines just seem to frustrate me. Mapping the Edge has three viewpoints or storylines going on all at once which come to a simultaneous time point at the end, however it just didn't work for me at all reading it as ...more
Jewelianne
I loved the premise of this book in theory. I have never seen the movie Sliding Doors so I can't say if it's any good, but I have always thought it sounded interesting, although apparently not interesting enough to get over my "not watching movies" thing. But when I heard about this book (a recommendation for books similar to Help for the Haunted, which I don't necessarily agree with), I was very intrigued. Basically, the idea is that a single mother goes on a brief vacation and does not return ...more
Allison
Her style was decent, although I could have done without the crudity. It took me a little while to adapt to how she was telling the story. The end left me rather dissatisfied (although I predicted that from the beginning).

The unique choice she made in telling this story was interesting at first, but she didn't wrap it up as I would have liked. But even the other option would have left me unhappy, so really, I found this method counterproductive if her goal was to captivate the reader.
Chris
This is a thriller told in several overlapping story lines.
Anna is a single mom who has gone to Italy for a few days on short notice. Her best friends don't know why, but when she doesn't return home when expected they get worried and scared.
Meanwhile - Anna is having two different experiences -- one where she has met up with a secret lover and a second where she has been kidnapped and held against her will while a man lives out some strange fantasy and secretly photographs her.
The third story t
...more
Erica
An interesting premise, but poorly executed. Mapping the Edge tells the stories of Anna, a woman who has vanished after a few days in Italy. I say "stories" because this novel follows two plotlines about Anna- two alternative accounts of what could have happened to her after she goes missing. A third storyline follows Anna's friends and family at home in England, who are trying to piece together the puzzle of her disappearance.

This novel felt like a literary experiment. Sarah Dunant is a fantas
...more
MountainShelby
This is a compelling read . . . until the end, which falls flat. I really wish contemporary writers would end their novels appropriately. We don't read this kind of genre novel for the big questions of the universe (well, I don't anyway) . . . we read for enjoyment or distraction, to get us over a rough time (my case today), or whatever the reason. So while I don't need the plot tied up in a nice neat bow at the end, and all the characters skipping merrily about, I do need an ending, not some bi ...more
Karla
Very disappointing. This had the potential to be really interesting, but the author never brought the book to a close. It just ends in what feels like the last quarter of the story.
Shawna
Nov 30, 2008 Shawna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2008
Like a "choose your own adventure" for adults. Twisted, thrilling, yet in a haunting way. Very well-written.
Pam
I really really loved this book. birth of venus was a let down after this
Mara
very different and intriguing
Jessica
I don't get it. I sure as heck didn't like it. I was disappointed in this entire book, and was just glad to put it down.

There are two things going on here. Anna takes a solo trip, but doesn't come back when she's supposed to. Her friends, who are stuck taking care of Anna's kid, are at first accepting, then slightly worried, then definitely afraid about what Anna's failure to return means. That part was fine. It makes sense - your friends and family are worried, got it.

But then the reader is pre
...more
Cynthia
I picked up this book while I was in Florence and thought it would be fun to read, particularly because I have enjoyed 2 other books by Sarah Dunant,In the Company of the Courtesan: A Novel & The Birth of Venus. (The Birth of Venus rates as one of my favorite.) Mappin the Edge had a brilliant start, and I was immediately hooked. I was really involved in the story. How could this mother run off and be so selfish, leaving her friends to cope while she is indulging in an affair? And then, I was ...more
Elsje
Al een hele poos ligt er hier bij mijn computer een stapeltje boeken om over te bloggen. De bovenste is Mapping the Edge van Sarah Dunant, vorig jaar april het boekgrrls maandboek en uit één van die nog immer onuitgepakte boekendozen tevoorschijn gekomen toen ik iets te lezen zocht.

Het verhaal
Anna wordt uit Florence terugverwacht door vriendin Estella, dochtertje Lily en vriend Paul. Maar Anna verschijnt niet op de afgesproken dag, noch op de dagen erna. Wat is er gebeurd? Het boek laat afwissse
...more
Reemawi
Sarah Dunant is one of my favorite authors, if not my favorite altogether.

Of course, I fell in love with her work after reading "The Birth of Venus," which is an entirely different genre from that of "Mapping the Edge." I've also read her latest, "Sacred Hearts," which is another amazing historic fiction book that is so profoundly written and its plot so seamlessly well-constructed, that I am in awe of this brilliant writer.

"Mapping the Edge" is quite different.

I can't deny that Dunant's writi
...more
Louise
A disturbing novel about a woman in crisis. Anna is a single Mom who is devoted to her six year old daughter Lily but still feels a deep void in her life. The book centers around Anna's disappearance during a trip to Italy.

Anna's friends, Paul and Stella, look after Lily during her mother's absence when Anna hasn't returned from her trip when she was expected. As the days pass, Anna's friends fear that something has happened to her. They wonder if she's been abducted or is she staying away for s
...more
Jean Marie
Well played, Ms. Dunant. Well played.

I have read three of Dunant's Renaissance Italy novels (I haven't gotten the recently released one on the Borgias yet) and I love her prose and rhythm of writing. Once locked it, it's impossible to get back out. It has always intrigued me that her early novels are considered standard mystery/thrillers and how she flipped a switch to go into historical fiction. I came across this book a few years ago when Borders was shutting its doors and had to move its inv
...more
Kathryn
There is a really interesting premise behind this book. One woman, Anna, a single mother living in London, ups and walks out of her life for a long weekend in Florence. You pick up her story towards the end of her time there. Initially, I was disappointed by this. The fact that the setting was Florence had been part of the attraction and one of the reasons I'd wanted to read this book, especially as it promised a modern-day take on one of my favourite cities. However, the book quickly sucked me ...more
Heidi
**Spoiler alert**

Wow...

I had only previously read Dunant's 'The Birth of Venus' and while I enjoyed that book because of the lush prose and vivid descriptions, I was completely unaware as to the impact that this book would have upon me...

The story tells of Anna Franklin, a single mother who journeys to Florence, Italy for a trip, leaving behind in London her young daughter. The story truly begins when Anna misses her return flight home...

The novel cuts between the story of what is happening to A
...more
Catherine
I didn't pick this up because of the stuff it said on the cover about it being sexual, and if you have you may end up being disappointed. I was, but not for that reason. The premise and the structure are interesting: Anna vanishes on the day she is meant to return home from a trip to Italy. The story of those left behind, worrying, is intertwined with two possible versions of what is happening to Anna. All three intersect at some parts, and there is a degree of cleverness in making them do so su ...more
Michala Tyann
Mapping the Edge by Sarah Dunant
Reviewed by Arlene Walsh

“While others were burning comet paths through the skies with their energy and ambition, I was standing underneath brushing their sparks from my clothing, afraid even to look up in case I got their fire in my eyes. In recent years, though I have found myself passing an increasing amount of debris from the burnout of faster, more colorful lives. Negative equities, second wives or husbands, the beginnings of double chins…”

Dunant gets the ac
...more
Karen
This books is not what you might think--it begins as your typical thriller, slowly unraveling a mystery. However, it quickly dissolves into two stories, two possibilities as to what may have happened to single mom, Anna, who took off to Florence for the weekend (from London) and disappeared. Unlike the choose-your-own ending books from your youth, both stories are developed though one is more credible than the other. Did she get kidnapped by a grief-driven sociopath or is she spending the weeken ...more
Boof
I have just finished reading this and I am left feeling "is that it?"

The protagonist, Anna, has disappeared off to Italy without telling anyone where or why (leaving her 6 year old daughter at home - nice). The story then alternates between the one written by her best friend Estella who has had to drop everything to look after the daughter, and Anna (who just to confuse matters more, has two seperate stories going on simultaniously - one where she is kidnapped and another where she is onvolved i
...more
Alyson
Whilst I enjoyed the writing and the story, the last 3 lines, totally confused me. I had no problem at all with the parallel stories of Anna - either kidnapped or having an affair that are presented in the book - and in terms of being able to read the book and know which plot I was in at which point in time that was fine. What was confusing, and possibly undermines the book, is the last 3 lines. If the author wanted us to think that Anna had imagined BOTH plots that would be ok, but, the final c ...more
Kirsty Darbyshire

I've not read any Sarah Dunant for ages. This one took me a while to get into. Then I loved it for a long time. Then I got a bit disappointed with the ending. That summarises it pretty well.

This is the Stella's story: her friend Anna goes missing on a trip to Italy and what we have as well as Stella coping with Anna's young daughter is two flights of Stella's imagination as she thinks about what could have happened to Anna. Figuring out the two parallel versions of what could have happened to A

...more
Laurie
This was a quick read. While I really loved the Birth of Venus, by the same author, and this book had her same intelligent, easy writing style, I didn't care for the subject matter or characters as much. The book is suspenseful, which adds to the quick-read factor, and I did find myself wondering what would happen. But as the story comes together, it is one of those "of course" moments, rather than an "aha!" moment of discovery, and I can't say that I was completely satisfied. The parallel story ...more
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aka Peter Dunant (with Peter Busby)
More about Sarah Dunant...
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“Missing rubs the soul raw.” 23 likes
“Obsessed? I don't know what the word means. I know there were times when I couldn't think of anything else. I used to stay in every weeknight in the hope that he might get free and call me. It felt like I had a disease I didn't want to get rid of. I suppose that's a definition of obsession, yes.” 4 likes
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