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The Edge of the Earth

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,717 Ratings  ·  349 Reviews
From the author of Drowning Ruth, a haunting, atmospheric novel set at the closing of the frontier about a young wife who moves to a far-flung and forbidding lighthouse where she uncovers a life-changing secret.

Trudy is a polished, college-educated young woman from a respectable upper middle-class family, and it’s only a matter of time before she’ll marry Ernst, the son o
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Atria Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Seduction by M.J. RoseThe Aviator's Wife by Melanie BenjaminThe Firebird by Susanna KearsleyThe Midwife's Tale by Sam   ThomasThe White Princess by Philippa Gregory
Historical Fiction 2013
80th out of 371 books — 2,428 voters
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. StedmanTo the Lighthouse by Virginia WoolfThe Lighthouse by P.D. JamesThe Shipping News by Annie ProulxThe Black Tower by P.D. James
13th out of 84 books — 61 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 01, 2012 Joe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: general-fiction
i LOVED this story! Had a flight to DC and started it sitting at airport and did NOT want to put it down! Beautiful story, takes place in the 1890's. Trudy, raised in a well to do family in Milwaukee, her life pretty well planned out, marriage and family suddenly falls for the brother of her fiance! and even more suddenly, finds herself traveling across the country to the coast of California, current day Big Sur to be the wife of a lighthouse keeper! Remote is not even the word to describe where ...more
Jan 12, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it
Anyone that knows my preferences in reading material would never dare suggest this book as one for me to read.
Sometimes the bad decisions we make, lead to discoveries we didn't know about ourselves.
Trudy is a young well-educated lady living in Wisconsin in 1898.
Her life is pretty well pre-planed in that she will be marying her lifetime friend Ernst in a double wedding with her best friend and she'll live happily ever after. However when Ernst's brother Oskar returns from a long absence and start
Jan 22, 2013 Carla rated it it was amazing
I have been a fan of Christina Schwarz since reading Drowning Ruth, so I was excited to receive an Advance Reader's Copy of her upcoming novel, The Edge of the Earth. Ms. Schwarz has a flair for her vivid descriptions of her novel's locations-in this case a remote lighthouse on the California Pacific coast in the late 1890's. There, young newlywed Trudy Swann, who gave up a pampered and privledged life in Wisconsin to follow her husband west, learns unexpected truths about herself, her husband a ...more
Apr 13, 2013 Su rated it it was amazing
The perfect book for a rainy weekend. Semi-isolation on a rocky lighthouse island with a few strange residents. Lots of foggy atmosphere. Brilliantly written. Characters that are as deep as the surrounding ocean. I LOVE this book. This was my first introduction to Christina Schwarz and now I want to read everything else she's written.
Apr 01, 2013 Eyehavenofilter rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, to-trade
Eyiyiyiyi! At first I thought I was going to throw this over the railing of the ship myself! The switching back and forth in time was making me sea sick. The wimpyness of Trudy made me want to throttle her. But then I realized that she just did not know how to make good choices neither did Oskar, he just wanted to show off. .
Oskar was an idiot. She just couldn't see it. Neither could anyone else. He wanted fame and fortune but had no way of obtaining it. He was going to get it at any expense. T
Mar 28, 2013 Mark rated it did not like it
Shelves: first-reads
The Edge of the Earth is a difficult read. At no point is it swiftly paced to keep you interested or riveted. It plods along in a greyness with very little vibrancy. It does not elicit any real emotion from the reader until well past the 200 page mark.

Understanding when the novel takes place is important to the development of the characters and story. Trudy is likeable enough. Unhappy at home, uncertain of her choices later on. She relies on her infallible husband and stands behind his increasin
Colleen Lahey
Oct 05, 2012 Colleen Lahey rated it it was amazing
Secrets and more secrets....
I liked this book very much. I loved the way the book opened with the youngest daughter, Jane, narrating the chapter. It was soft and appealing and served as a great springboard into the story of Trudy. Trudy's story kept me very interested throughout the entire book. As a reader, you know the author is leading into many secrets but she doesn't disclose them until she is ready. I totally disliked Trudy's husband and wanted to shake her to wake her up so she could 'see
Jul 01, 2013 Joann rated it really liked it

Finished at beach, June 24, ’13 Christina Schwarz’s The Edge of the Earth.
Powerful story of a young woman’s effort to break the mold of convention in early 20th century, to make an adventurous new life for herself by first attaching herself to an intellectually and emotionally compelling inventor. This marriage leads her to a life tending for a lighthouse lamp with a strange family with four children, the brother of the wife and a woman living in the cave beyond the “edge of the earth.” The sett
It is 1898 and Trudy is a well-educated young woman living with her parents in Milwaukee, having some doubts about her long-time planned future. Engaged to be married to Ernst Dettweiler after her graduation from Milwaukee College, her life is set up to be one of the ease, comfort, and predictability that mirrors her parents' lives. She wonders if there isn't something more exciting, more meaningful, and when she meets Oskar Swann, she falls in love with the man who she believes can give her the ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Apr 21, 2013 Meg - A Bookish Affair rated it really liked it
In "The Edge of the Earth," Christina Schwarz weaves a story around a remote island off the west coast in the very late 1800s. The inhabitants of the island are few but they are all connected. Even though there are very few people on the island, there is still an unknown entity there. I really enjoyed this fantastic historical fiction story.

This book is very much a character driven story. I enjoyed reading about the characters even if I didn't like all of them. I really liked the main character,
Kimberly Shadwick
Apr 12, 2013 Kimberly Shadwick rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written, fast paced, holds reader's attention from beginning to end. The descriptions of the geography are so detailed I could feel the mist of the fog and ocean on my face. The writing drew me in and the character development caused me to care and become emotionally attached to them.
The mystery surrounding the lighthouse, the only family there with the couple who move there to be alone. This is a great book for everyone and great for reading group discussions.
Don't read the jacket
Feb 26, 2013 Jennifer rated it liked it
I read this fast and found it entertaining, but ultimately disappointing. The whirlwind romance that takes Trudy off to a new life wasn't believable, and in fact I found the husband completely unlikeable from beginning to end. All the plot twists were pretty heavily telegraphed, and the ending was far too convenient. However, the moody, otherworldly setting (isolated lighthouse, wild sea, craggy mountains) was really well described, and I couldn't help pulling for Trudy to create a satisfying li ...more
Amy Rhodes
Apr 02, 2013 Amy Rhodes rated it it was ok
"2" is a bit harsh but I really found this book irritating. The heroine is annoying and her husband is worse. And then there's the lighthouse problem...this is the second lighthouse book of the season--The Light Between Oceans being the first--and it's just one too many. I get that it's bleak and isolated and weather-beaten but I need some story to go with it all. This picks up toward the end but by then I was in such a hurry to be done with these people that I didn't care.
Katherine Coble
Feb 07, 2015 Katherine Coble rated it really liked it
I picked this up on a daily deal because it sounded intriguing; I generally enjoy books about lighthouses. But I wasn't dying to read it or anything. I just thought "well, this will go nicely with my tsundoku problem" and so I bought it. Then last night, burned out on my usual reading fare I decided to read the first few pages of this book to see if it suited my mood.

I didn't stop reading until I finished it three and a half hours later.

I'll be honest and say that I've read better books; certain
Keith Skinner
May 20, 2014 Keith Skinner rated it it was amazing
I've visited numerous lighthouses over the years and, while exploring the light towers and the residences, always wonder what it was like to serve as keeper. Christina Schwartz gives us a beautifully crafted, finely textured story of discovery that allows us to fully enter that world. Bookended by a provocative prologue and epilogue, we follow Trudy Swann as she sheds an all too predictable life of comfort in Wisconsin to inhabit stark, lonely Point Lucia that has seemingly little more to offer ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Jun 09, 2013 Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews rated it really liked it
From a privileged childhood home to a home in a lighthouse. Quite a change from what Trudy was used to, but she loved her husband even though her parents didn't approve of her choice of her spouse. Trudy didn't see her husband as being the person he really was until later in their marriage, but she was in love and no one could tell her otherwise.

The lighthouse was isolated, and the life was lonely for her. The only company she had were the Crawley's four children whom she taught and Mr. And Mrs
Jan 31, 2013 Wanda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway, first-reads
I won this novel via the First Reads giveaway from Goodreads and truly appreciate the opportunity to have read The Edge of the Earth. This is the second novel that I have read of Christina Schwarz, being a huge fan of Drowning Ruth with fond memories of that novel which remain with me to this day. The Edge of the Earth takes us into a rare glimpse of what it would be like to be members living in a lighthouse community and the struggles and freedoms that they endured. The author describes the sce ...more
Deon Stonehouse
Trudy had a sheltered and loving childhood in Wisconsin, her life planned out for her from an early age. She would finish college then marry her childhood sweetheart Ernst. As the date for graduation nears she feels stifled, longing for something different makes her vulnerable to Ernst’s cousin Oskar. She abandons her pre-ordained, safe life for adventure with Oskar. Trudy is hopelessly young, sheltered and naïve. Life with Oskar will be different than her placid childhood, but perhaps not in th ...more
Bonnie Brody
Oct 11, 2012 Bonnie Brody rated it it was ok
Trudy lives a very boring and staid life in Wisconsin. She is set to marry Ernst when she meets Oskar and is drawn to him. She decides to marry Oskar instead of Ernst because Oskar has some mystery about him. She goes off with him to a lighthouse in California where he is to work. There she finds some surprises both lovely and mysterious. Oskar is not who she thinks he is and she is disappointed in her marriage.

On the island is another family with children and Trudy becomes their teacher. She te
May 18, 2013 RNOCEAN rated it it was amazing
Rate 5/5 This was an incredibly good book. I loved the author's first book "Drowning Ruth" but this was even better. In 1898 a young woman living a comfortable and well-appointed life leaves the comfort of her life and family to for a love that takes her to 'the edge of the earth' a remote lighthouse on the west coast of California.
This was a very character driven story, which I like. I will always love the main character Trudy, for her strength and tenacity. I did not care for the husband that
Feb 18, 2015 Sherri rated it it was amazing
I have just finished this wonderful book. It grabbed me from the first and I had read it when ever I had a free moment. The story continues to unfold and engross you till you can't stop reading because you can't wait to see where Christina is going to take you next. You think you know but Oh no you don't. I enjoyed everything about this book! I especially loved the way she brought the entire story together at the end. A very satisfying read!
Jennifer Taw
Fast-paced and atmospheric, Tina's book offers three strong female characters, each of which, despite societal constraints and limited acceptable options, nonetheless shapes her own life decisively and deliberately. The men are either spineless or overbearing, hindering rather than helping, childish and needy and destructive. The power of the book -- its true driver -- lies in the setting, which is depicted not just as it looks and sounds, but as it affects characters' movements and options. The ...more
Jun 05, 2014 Jane rated it it was amazing
To me this book was more than just a story about relationships, or a light mystery. The entire book had me thinking about making decisions that affect your entire life, the purpose of life, life & death and continuing to live after a death; science, education, culture,...
As a former homeschooling mother, who wanted a child-led, parent guided approach, while still covering "the important things", I enjoyed following Trudy & Oskar as they both thought about the children's education & r
Timothy Coplin
Feb 10, 2015 Timothy Coplin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2013
As I finish this novel, I think I want to cry. Yet, for sorrow or for joy, I know not which.

Each and every character in this novel is as powerful and as transforming as the next. Powerful and transforming, THE EDGED OF THE EARTH held me captivated from prologue to epilogue, right on through the acknowledgements.

A tale of love, curiosity, self-determination, and independence; yet along the way are moments of fear, ignorance, peer pressure, and social dependence.

Not quite 'historical fiction', thi
Paul Pessolano
Oct 30, 2013 Paul Pessolano rated it it was amazing
“The Edge of the Earth” by Christina Schwarz, published by Atria Books.

Category – Fiction/Literature Publication Date – April 02, 2013

Sometimes it takes me awhile to read some very good books and this is one of those times.

“The Edge of the Earth” is a remote lighthouse in California. Well, let us start at the beginning.

Trudy lives with her well-to-do parents in Milwaukee and seems destined to wed a young man who fits the mold of everyone’s expectations. Trudy follows her heart and marries Oska
Jan 07, 2013 Sue rated it really liked it
I won a copy of "The Edge of the Earth" by Christina Schwarz through the Goodreads Giveaway. What a gripping novel.I loved it.

Christina Schwarz is a real storyteller, with strong characters and rich landscape with a setting in the 1890's.When Trudy graduated from Milwaukee College, she was to marry Ernst, but coming from a rich family, she longs for something more exciting, so she breaks the pattern and marries his brother, Oskar, for a life of adventure of the high sea. She leaves her comfortab
Carolyn Lind
Aug 09, 2013 Carolyn Lind rated it really liked it
If you are looking for the perfect book to read on your next visit to the beach, this is my recommendation. Historical fiction with a tad of enchantment and mystery, it lies ensconced in language that lives and breathes of island and sea.

"I remember the day she came to us from the sea. The mountains behind us were too tall and squeezed together to let anyone through, but the ocean before and below us was like a carpet and ships slid past on it every day, some with big white sails stretching out
Jun 23, 2013 Northwestreader rated it really liked it
Little House on the Prairie moves to a remote lighthouse station on the California coastline and melds with Darwin’s Origin of Species. A good storyline meshed with good old-fashioned hands-on marine biology.

This very readable book introduces us to Trudy, a young woman who is bouncing up against societal expectations in her comfortable Milwaukee home in the waning hours of the 19th century. To everyone’s surprise, she chooses to leave her well scripted future and marry and run off with a dreamer
Apr 01, 2013 Jan rated it liked it
“The Edge of the Earth” is bookended by the visit in 1977 of Jane Crawley, now in her 80s, to the Point Lucia Light Station where she grew up. This is Jane’s first trip “home” since she left at age 19. I eagerly anticipated the ensuing story.

First a bit about the setting, which for me turned out to be more absorbing than the narrative. Situated 150 miles south of San Francisco, Point Lucia “was erected in 1890 on a promontory 360 feet above the Pacific Ocean. The point is surrounded on three sid
Apr 17, 2013 Cheryl rated it liked it
Trudy is very smart and has a bright future ahead of her. Her family can almost hear the wedding bells ringing for Trudy. There is just one problem. They did not expect Trudy to fall for a guy like Oskar.

Trudy and Oskar move away and accept a job at a lighthouse. Trudy becomes a teacher to the Crawley children. The other family that lives at the lighthouse. Whereas Oskar is fascinated by his inventions and electricity. Oskar finds a cave and a mysterious woman living in it. He finds her intrigu
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Mansfield Public ...: The Edge of the Earth Review by Julia Joseph 1 9 Jul 27, 2013 11:16AM  
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“That night the rain began to fall so thickly and heavily, it seemed as though the bowl of the ocean had risen into the sky and upended itself.” 0 likes
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