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Beyond the Margin

4.60  ·  Rating details ·  15 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Is living on the edge of society a choice? Or is choice a luxury of the fortunate? Joe, fighting drug addiction, runs until the sea halts his progress. His is a faltering search for meaningful relationships. 'Let Luck be a friend,' Nuala is told but it had never felt that way. Abandoned at five years old, survival means learning not to care. Her only hope is to take contro ...more
Kindle Edition, 246 pages
Published November 13th 2019
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Average rating 4.60  · 
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 ·  15 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Lynda Haddock
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a moving and absorbing story of two people who lived 'beyond the margin'. The two main characters experience abusive and challenging events in their lives. They are are vividly and sensitively portrayed and the author's compassion for them permeates the book. Jo Jackson recounts the life-journey of each of her main characters with insight and conviction. As a reader I connected deeply with their stories and shared their hurt, pain and courage. I was gripped by the account of the challeng ...more
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a book of life on the edge; both in reality and in emotional terms. Joe is a man who has been about as low as possible and now lives on the edge of the land, and Nuala is always on the edge of disaster. This is a book which features the difficulties and the tremulous joys of life as it describes days when the natural world offers so much, as well as days when people are at their most challenging. This book depicts the problems and inadequacies of the child care system in contemporary Bri ...more
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blog-tour, literary
Beyond the Margin by Jo Jackson was a truly exceptional read.

The story follows the journeys of Michael Joseph (Joe) McCurdy and Nuala who live their lives generally shunned and misunderstood by society - one through choice, and the other because of circumstance.

The story is told via alternating chapters narrated by the two main characters, Joe and Nuala. The author writes with wonderful clarity. I loved the descriptions of the places, nature, countryside, coast, animals and lifestyle where the m
Cheryl M-M
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Nuala is abandoned to starve and die as a five-year-old. Her experiences as a child and in care define her character and choices, which aren't always the right ones. Both Nuala and her choices are driven by her fear of abandonment, the fury about being powerless and the confusion she feels about her father. Love is mixed in equal measures with anger and longing.

Joe is a drug addict running away from his past and his life in general. He stumbles upon an elderly couple, who live an isolated life o
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
At first, I wondered if the profound impact that this book had on me was because it was so very different from the books I usually choose to read. But no – its impact was all down to the fact that it’s a stunning piece of writing. It explores the lives of two people, and their stories and viewpoints alternate.

Young Nuala, after the death of her drug addict mother and her abandonment by her father, moves through the care system, searching for a place where she can belong: its failings are many, a
Jessica Belmont
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beyond the Margin by Jo Jackson is moving, poignant, and absorbing, while maintaining themes of hope and redemption.

The story follows two characters, Joe and Nuala, who live on the outside of society. Alternating between chapters narrated by each character, Jo Jackson crafts realistic people that I couldn’t help but care about.

As I said early, hope and redemption are major themes in this story. Though there is a lot of despair, the novel maintains balanced uplifting moments as well. What could h
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that will stay with you.

Joe and Nuala, father and daughter, live separate lives. They are separated from each other as well as from society. Joe is a man with weaknesses who leaves his young daughter because he struggles to take care of himself. Nuala is left to live with various strangers in the foster care system. With very little (but some) love thrown her way, she stifles her feelings and tries not to care, about anyone, including herself.

The novel is saved from despair by the
Lorna Taylor
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Write what you know – and this author does that.

Her novel may strike a chord with anyone who has experienced or has experience of vulnerable people. People who have been abused, abandoned, placed in inadequate foster caring, succumbed to substance abuse. People whose lives have spiralled out of control for reasons out of their control.

This hasn’t been a novel I could read quickly. The characters haunted me, I cared about them, and I needed time to digest what was happening to them. The story is
Jill Goodwin
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
From the first chapter, this book just had me. I need say nothing much about the plot other than what you see in the synopsis because Beyond the Margin is all about the way it makes you feel.

I found it both captivating and strangely, perhaps even inexplicably, calming. It’s raw and honest and visceral but is told with such skill that, despite the pity and the pain, it becomes beautiful, warm and uplifting. I was compelled by Joe’s journey. Near isolation makes him face himself; his spinning merr
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a wonderful read.

Jo Jackson has created two characters who seem so real that it feels like you know them.
While reading this book I found myself wanting the best for the characters and forgiving their mistakes, Jo writes in such a way that the connection to the characters is there from the start.

This book is a story of hope, it shows that things can change, you can make your life better and no matter how low you sink you can pull yourself back up.

TW - Drug Abuse, Child Abuse, Domestic
nicola mckenna
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it

This is a very moving and absorbing story of two people who lived “Beyond the margin”. The main characters experience abusive and challenging events. These are vividly and well written and sensitively portrayed throughout the book.

I was gripped by the account of challenges each character faced and the courage they showed.
L H Richards
rated it it was ok
Feb 17, 2020
Jo Houghton
rated it it was amazing
Nov 26, 2020
Cathy Shilton
rated it it was amazing
Apr 02, 2020
Naomi Royds-Jones
rated it it was amazing
Jun 26, 2020
Ashley Owens
marked it as to-read
Feb 04, 2020
Claire Newell
marked it as to-read
Feb 07, 2020
Ivy Mukabwa
marked it as to-read
Jun 18, 2020
Jane Fogg
marked it as to-read
Jan 20, 2021
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I describe my novels, 'Too Loud a Silence' and 'Beyond the Margin' as contemporary literary fiction. I began writing when I retired. My career was as a nurse and midwife before becoming a systemic family therapist.
It has been my privilege to work with people, often when they were at their most vulnerable. I hope my books pay tribute to their courage and fortitude.

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