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When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee an estate sale, she soon discovers that her grandmother left behind more than trinkets and photo frames--she provided a path to the truth behind Ivy's adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing. Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a se When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee an estate sale, she soon discovers that her grandmother left behind more than trinkets and photo frames--she provided a path to the truth behind Ivy's adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing. Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless. When he becomes entwined with two people seeking to help him find his way, Harvey knows he must keep the baby a secret or risk losing the only person he's ever loved. In this dual-time story from debut novelist Amanda Cox, the truth--both the search for it and the desire to keep it from others--takes center stage as Ivy and Harvey grapple with love, loss, and letting go.


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When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee an estate sale, she soon discovers that her grandmother left behind more than trinkets and photo frames--she provided a path to the truth behind Ivy's adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing. Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a se When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee an estate sale, she soon discovers that her grandmother left behind more than trinkets and photo frames--she provided a path to the truth behind Ivy's adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing. Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless. When he becomes entwined with two people seeking to help him find his way, Harvey knows he must keep the baby a secret or risk losing the only person he's ever loved. In this dual-time story from debut novelist Amanda Cox, the truth--both the search for it and the desire to keep it from others--takes center stage as Ivy and Harvey grapple with love, loss, and letting go.

30 review for The Edge of Belonging

  1. 5 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    I almost passed this book by. My influencing schedule was full and there were books I wanted to reread, but it kept calling to me. I am so very glad I listened to its voice. Let me tell you now: this book is worth way more than the allowed five stars. Way more. One night a thirty year old homeless man named Harvey finds a just born baby girl abandoned on the side of the highway near the woods in which he lives. He takes her in, names her Ivy Rose and starts loving her. But how will Harvey manage I almost passed this book by. My influencing schedule was full and there were books I wanted to reread, but it kept calling to me. I am so very glad I listened to its voice. Let me tell you now: this book is worth way more than the allowed five stars. Way more. One night a thirty year old homeless man named Harvey finds a just born baby girl abandoned on the side of the highway near the woods in which he lives. He takes her in, names her Ivy Rose and starts loving her. But how will Harvey manage to raise a baby when he lives in the woods? He doesn't even have a job, so how will he feed and clothe her? From this point on, we see clearly God's magnificent orchestration in the lives of these people. It is absolutely amazing. This book is so incredibly profound. It squeezed my heart and then caused it to burst with joy. If it had been a physical book instead of digital, I would have clasped it to my heart and hugged it. Then, I wept, literally wept, with tears dripping off my face, during the last part of this tremendous story. I don't ever recall a debut novel moving me this much. Never. I not only highly recommend this book, I urge you to read it. Seriously. Read this book. It's going on my list of top reads for 2020. *My thanks to Revell Publishing for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Chiavaroli

    Love, love, loved this story! From endorsement: The Edge of Belonging is a beautiful story about broken people coming together to find healing. With a masterful pen, Amanda Cox draws us into a story of dynamic characters, organic faith elements, gentle romance, and an authentic celebration of life and humanity. A touching and brilliant debut novel that is sure to linger sweetly in the minds and hearts of readers.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie DeMoss

    The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox is a multi=timeline novel set mostly in Tennessee. It shifts from 1994 to 1998-1999, and back to Present Day. In 1994, Harvey, homeless and living by the highway, finds an abandoned baby girl. He connects with her immediately, trying to care for her in his lean-to by the side of the road. Abandoned as a boy, he hopes to make a family with this lost little girl. In the Present Day, Ivy, who is in an abusive relationship with a controlling fiance, returns home t The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox is a multi=timeline novel set mostly in Tennessee. It shifts from 1994 to 1998-1999, and back to Present Day. In 1994, Harvey, homeless and living by the highway, finds an abandoned baby girl. He connects with her immediately, trying to care for her in his lean-to by the side of the road. Abandoned as a boy, he hopes to make a family with this lost little girl. In the Present Day, Ivy, who is in an abusive relationship with a controlling fiance, returns home to Tennessee to settle her grandmother's estate. Her grandmother has left her a message and pointed her to a journal which will explain more about her adoption. With the help of her friend Reese, she starts to try and find out more about the first three months of her life. The beauty of this book lies in the simple message of family and what constitutes a family. Ivy's family has always been her parents, her grandmother, and her Uncle Vee. But who are they really? This book also hits some hard issues. It looks at domestic abuse, sex trafficking, drug abuse, the foster care system, and PTSD. It shows how important it is to love each other, and how love can transform a life. And it shows how God answers prayers, but not always in the way you would expect. The Edge of Belonging is well written and hard to put down. The characters are so well developed that they will permanently touch your heart. The message of hope amid sorrow and tragedy abounds through the book. I highly recommend this to anyone who has experienced loss, or anyone who just wants to read a well written novel. I received a free copy of this book from Revell via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    Amanda Cox tells an exquisite tale of finding home and family. The story is about Ivy Rose and is told from two perspectives. Present day Ivy yearns to know her beginnings. In flashbacks we see baby Ivy from her first day. Four seemingly diverse people are brought together by a tiny baby. This is an achingly beautiful story of growing faith and living out the love of Christ despite difficulties. The characters are real and relatable. They have their flaws but Ms. Cox shows us that compassion can Amanda Cox tells an exquisite tale of finding home and family. The story is about Ivy Rose and is told from two perspectives. Present day Ivy yearns to know her beginnings. In flashbacks we see baby Ivy from her first day. Four seemingly diverse people are brought together by a tiny baby. This is an achingly beautiful story of growing faith and living out the love of Christ despite difficulties. The characters are real and relatable. They have their flaws but Ms. Cox shows us that compassion can bring healing. We struggle along with Miri, Thom, Harvey and Pearl as they battle their own inner demons and rejoice when they find their purpose again. This is an exceptional debut novel. I will be glad to read another offering from Amanda Cox. * I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gloria

    This book was not on my radar until I saw that someone else was reading it and it caught my eye. Wow! What a beautiful, emotional tapestry of love - sacrificial love, that of family in blood and that of family of choice, of God's healing love, and love that fills holes of loneliness. When a homeless man living in the woods finds an abandoned baby, he decides to keep her. Harvey was an orphan who grew up in foster care and children homes, passed on when he wore his welcome out, never feeling love This book was not on my radar until I saw that someone else was reading it and it caught my eye. Wow! What a beautiful, emotional tapestry of love - sacrificial love, that of family in blood and that of family of choice, of God's healing love, and love that fills holes of loneliness. When a homeless man living in the woods finds an abandoned baby, he decides to keep her. Harvey was an orphan who grew up in foster care and children homes, passed on when he wore his welcome out, never feeling love since the death of his parents. With this baby, he can show her that she is loved and wanted. But he has to get some help with her needs. He finds a church where he can get formula and diapers and it leads to work as a gardener at the church. His circle is slowly increased with a relationship with Pastor Thomas and Pearl, an older lady living in the parsonage, the former minister's wife. This story is told in a dual timeline, with the story of Harvey finding the baby he named Ivy Rose and their first few months along with present day when Ivy is called home when her grandmother Pearl is dying. Ivy is very determined to find answers to how her parents came to adopt her. Her story is an emotional tale that shows how God has a plan for everyone and puts people in place where He directs. Keep the tissues handy but don't miss this story. This is an author that I hope to read in the future. I received a complimentary ARC from Revell through NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine only.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    For a debut author let me tell you Amanda Cox really knows how to pack a punch! You start reading and all is well you are sailing along fine, you start to get comfortable but in the back of your mind you're waiting,watching wondering . THEN......... all of the sudden take a deep breath, it hits you, a punch in the gut. You're sucker punched and you can't quite catch your breath. The author really brings out all the emotions in you and I really look forward to seeing what she'll come out with next! For a debut author let me tell you Amanda Cox really knows how to pack a punch! You start reading and all is well you are sailing along fine, you start to get comfortable but in the back of your mind you're waiting,watching wondering . THEN......... all of the sudden take a deep breath, it hits you, a punch in the gut. You're sucker punched and you can't quite catch your breath. The author really brings out all the emotions in you and I really look forward to seeing what she'll come out with next! Published September 8th 2020 by Fleming H. Revell Company. I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Ulferts

    The Edge of Belonging left me feeling better than it found me. After I finished reading it, I sat back and mulled it over. I realized I had just read a book about extremely heavy topics and yet I came away feeling lighter and more hopeful than before I started. I am blown away by how Amanda Cox took such tragic topics and wove them together in a truly beautiful, heartwarming story. This book is an insightful look at family and what being one really means. It is that and so much more. I will be r The Edge of Belonging left me feeling better than it found me. After I finished reading it, I sat back and mulled it over. I realized I had just read a book about extremely heavy topics and yet I came away feeling lighter and more hopeful than before I started. I am blown away by how Amanda Cox took such tragic topics and wove them together in a truly beautiful, heartwarming story. This book is an insightful look at family and what being one really means. It is that and so much more. I will be recommending this book to all my reader friends. I received an advanced reader copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    Lovely debut! The Edge of Belonging unravels the story of Ivy Rose in dual timelines: Present Day and her birth year of 1994. As a young adult, Ivy knows she was adopted, but longs to know more about her history and birth parents. Readers get to know Ivy in present day as she struggles with a romantic relationship and the loss of a relative. While both time frames were compelling, it was Pearl and Harvey in 1994 that stole my heart. Both demonstrate sacrificial love and a yearning for companionshi Lovely debut! The Edge of Belonging unravels the story of Ivy Rose in dual timelines: Present Day and her birth year of 1994. As a young adult, Ivy knows she was adopted, but longs to know more about her history and birth parents. Readers get to know Ivy in present day as she struggles with a romantic relationship and the loss of a relative. While both time frames were compelling, it was Pearl and Harvey in 1994 that stole my heart. Both demonstrate sacrificial love and a yearning for companionship. This debut is well written and engaging. I look forward to what Amanda Cox will write next. My gratitude to publisher Revell for a complimentary NetGalley copy of the novel. I was not required to post a review and all opinions expressed are my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Fordham

    I am a foster parent...which means I LOVE and HATE books that deal with foster care, abandonment etc. So many of them get it wrong. Obviously, every experience is different (even every child I have had, has had a different story) but some books get it all fundamentally wrong making it so hard to read. This book wasn't one of those. Part of the book takes place in the 90's so there are differences from how foster care works today (broken system then and in many ways now, but that's just me going I am a foster parent...which means I LOVE and HATE books that deal with foster care, abandonment etc. So many of them get it wrong. Obviously, every experience is different (even every child I have had, has had a different story) but some books get it all fundamentally wrong making it so hard to read. This book wasn't one of those. Part of the book takes place in the 90's so there are differences from how foster care works today (broken system then and in many ways now, but that's just me going off on a tangent). This book is different than my foster experience (I can say that I saw myself in any of the characters, but I felt their struggles). This book has heart and it feels genuine. Yes, things come together pretty well and in real life that's not always the case (Can you tell I've been hurt by my foster experiences...it's such a beautiful and heartbreaking system to be a part of). But Amanda Cox shows the messy, the redemptive side and the importance of connection. I love stories of families coming together in unusual ways and the family in this book comes with lots of baggage but together they're beautiful, stronger and more complete. Go read it, it'll make you want to stop and take a second chance on someone you would have otherwise walked right by.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox is a heart-touching debut novel. I will certainly be looking to read more books by this author. When The Edge of Belonging begins, Ivy Rose is engaged to a controlling, abusive man--and then her grandma passes away. She ends up returning to her hometown to oversee her grandma's estate sale--and to find out more information about her adoption. Twenty-four years earlier, we read about Harvey James who found a newborn baby that gave him a sense of purpose and human The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox is a heart-touching debut novel. I will certainly be looking to read more books by this author. When The Edge of Belonging begins, Ivy Rose is engaged to a controlling, abusive man--and then her grandma passes away. She ends up returning to her hometown to oversee her grandma's estate sale--and to find out more information about her adoption. Twenty-four years earlier, we read about Harvey James who found a newborn baby that gave him a sense of purpose and human connection for the first time in many years. Despite the odds being stacked against him, Harvey tries to help this little girl--and ultimately she helps him. In this dual-timeline story, both Ivy and Harvey are struggling with love and loss and how to go on in life. I truly loved all of these characters except Seth. I struggled to read this part and get in to the book initially because I was at one time in an abusive relationship so it was a trigger for me. However, I am so glad I continued on and she does handle everything quite well. This book touched me deeply and I had to have tissues by my side as I read it. I truly felt for Harvey and Pearl as well as Ivy, her parents and her best friend Reese. These characters and this small town drew me in and once I got past the initial hard part, I also could not put it down. Cox deal with some difficult issues throughout the book but she does it so well. I feel like my words are inadequate in this review to share just how much I appreciated these character's stories. I also liked how Cox wove in her themes of God's love and redemption so skillfully. The Edge of Belonging was not preachy at all but it was heart and soul touching. One of my favorite quotes: Pearl shook her head. "Its not about my pain versus your pain. It's about sharing in the human experience and knowing what it is to hurt. It takes courage--stepping forward and healing when it's so tempting, so safe, to stay and worship the alters we've built to our pain. . ." (Page 297) I received a copy of this book through the Revell Reads Blogger Program. All opinions within this review are my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jen. (JenGalaxy4 Christian Book Reviews)

    What a heartfelt and emotional story about family and finding your true home! It takes special talent to write a story that gracefully handles tough topics without making the book difficult to get through. Amanda Cox definitely has that talent. Even with the heartbreak these characters face, not once did I ever anticipate anything but hope for them. Nicely done! The Edge of Belonging features vibrant characters that will absolutely wiggle their way into your heart! So – just who is keeping the t What a heartfelt and emotional story about family and finding your true home! It takes special talent to write a story that gracefully handles tough topics without making the book difficult to get through. Amanda Cox definitely has that talent. Even with the heartbreak these characters face, not once did I ever anticipate anything but hope for them. Nicely done! The Edge of Belonging features vibrant characters that will absolutely wiggle their way into your heart! So – just who is keeping the truth about Ivy’s adoption a secret? You’ll have to wait ’til September 8th to find out! 😉 I definitely recommend this book! Amanda Cox is an exciting new voice in Christian fiction! I’m really looking forward to reading what she publishes next! The Edge of Belonging is available for preorder at Baker Book House or Christian Book . Reserve your copy today! I received a complimentary advanced reading copy of this book from Amanda Cox and Revell Books. A positive review was not required. Opinions expressed are my own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    The Edge of Belonging is a strong debut with powerful themes and endearing characters. Though it touches on heavier topics, such as infertility, homelessness, and grief, this story is never without hope. Cox infuses her narrative with characters that remind the reader to look for the helpers and the peacemakers, and that even they can be found in the unlikeliest of people. My favorite aspect of the novel is the relationship between Pearl and Harvey, both hurting people in their own way, but Pearl The Edge of Belonging is a strong debut with powerful themes and endearing characters. Though it touches on heavier topics, such as infertility, homelessness, and grief, this story is never without hope. Cox infuses her narrative with characters that remind the reader to look for the helpers and the peacemakers, and that even they can be found in the unlikeliest of people. My favorite aspect of the novel is the relationship between Pearl and Harvey, both hurting people in their own way, but Pearl has figured out the secret to life’s pains: "It’s not about your pain versus my pain. It’s about sharing in the human experience and knowing what it is to hurt. It takes courage - stepping forward and healing when it’s so tempting, so safe, to stay and worship the alters we’ve built to our pain." There is something healing about the way the friendship between Pearl and Harvey grows and deepens throughout the course of the narrative. The dual timeline flows together in such a way that keeps the reader engaged in both the present with Ivy as an adult, primarily getting to know who she has become, and in 1994 when she is an infant, primarily getting to know those who shaped her. All of the layers and pieces of the story are revealed to the reader along with Ivy, and it was a wonderful way to experience the story. Cox has a distinct voice and has offered up an impressive debut. I will look for upcoming release from her with eagerness. I received an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher; I was not required to post a positive review, and the opinions expressed here are my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Beautiful. This story was truly beautiful. There is so much meaning and emotion in this story, it floors me. I am finding it hard to find the words to do this story justice in my review. Quite simply I adored the characters, the story, all of it. This may be Amanda's first book, but she writes like she has written many, many books. She has a new fan in me and I will NOT miss any future books by her. This one is destined for my keeper shelf. I received this book as a member of the launch team and Beautiful. This story was truly beautiful. There is so much meaning and emotion in this story, it floors me. I am finding it hard to find the words to do this story justice in my review. Quite simply I adored the characters, the story, all of it. This may be Amanda's first book, but she writes like she has written many, many books. She has a new fan in me and I will NOT miss any future books by her. This one is destined for my keeper shelf. I received this book as a member of the launch team and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jypsy

    Thank you Revell for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own. The Edge Of Belonging By: Amanda Cox REVIEW ☆☆☆☆ The Edge of Belonging is a heartwarming tale of pieces and edges that form the framework of belonging and outline the origins of family. I have always been interested in stories involving people on the fringes of society, the invisible people. In 1994, Harvey is such a person, skirting the edges but not included, until an abandoned baby ch Thank you Revell for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own. The Edge Of Belonging By: Amanda Cox REVIEW ☆☆☆☆ The Edge of Belonging is a heartwarming tale of pieces and edges that form the framework of belonging and outline the origins of family. I have always been interested in stories involving people on the fringes of society, the invisible people. In 1994, Harvey is such a person, skirting the edges but not included, until an abandoned baby changes his life. In present time, twenty four year old Ivy Rose is grieving, lost and seeking origins. Her search reveals the circumstances that connected five people, making a family out of seemingly nothing. With healing, faith, a touch of romance and acceptance, The Edge Of Belonging is an inspirational masterpiece.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

    I want to start off by saying The Edge of Belonging left me incredibly satisfied and my heart feeling incredibly full. What. A. Story. I'm rather stingy on giving books five stars, but this one absolutely deserves it! I'm also beginning to believe that time-split novels need more room on my bookshelves. The time is split between 1994 and present day. I couldn't decide which time period I kept wanting to read more! Thankfully the author gives us a great balance between both time periods. Believe i I want to start off by saying The Edge of Belonging left me incredibly satisfied and my heart feeling incredibly full. What. A. Story. I'm rather stingy on giving books five stars, but this one absolutely deserves it! I'm also beginning to believe that time-split novels need more room on my bookshelves. The time is split between 1994 and present day. I couldn't decide which time period I kept wanting to read more! Thankfully the author gives us a great balance between both time periods. Believe it or not, all of the main characters worked their way into my hearts. They were all developed so wonderfully! Honestly, if you were to ask me which one I enjoyed getting to know the most, I wouldn't be able to pick. Amanda Cox tackles difficult topics such as abuse in relationships as well as sex trafficking in a way that the reader can't help but feel compassion for the characters and disdain for those perpetuating it. Most of these topics are covered in an indirect way so that as readers, we understand what's happened, can see the pain through each of the characters, but explicit details are left out. She also covers homelessness in a beautiful way. This book is a great reminder that not every man or woman on the streets is a drunk or druggie. They each have individual stories as this one portrays. I think the aspect I appreciate is that even in the rawness of the pain each of these characters are going through, we're able to relate to them in different ways. Loss, hurt, sadness are all experiences we have throughout our lives and because none of us escape life unscathed, we can see the beauty in the trials they each have gone through. After reading this book, Harvey's story once again reinforces WHY I want to be a foster parent so much. Each child ends up in foster homes for different reasons, but for them to never feel loved or cared for breaks my heart. That's where Pearl becomes my hero, my example of the kind of person I want to be! Ivy completely pulls on my heart strings for SO many reasons. She's been through so much and seems utterly lost when she should understand that she's completely found. And then there's Reese, Ivy's childhood friend. I want to believe that there are many more men like him in the world than we give them credit for. Ok, I guess if you were to twist my arm, he "might" be my favorite character in the book. It's not typical for me to re-read a book, but this book is already calling me back for a second time around! Seriously, don't miss out on reading this story! It's simply beautiful! *I am on the launch team. This is my personal opinion.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Amanda Cox is definitely going on my new favourite author list with her debut book, The Edge of Belonging. This inspirational dual-timeline story grabs you from the first page. It never lets go until well after you've finished reading it. I'm still thinking about it. Harvey James is homeless and lives in a lean-to in the woods. He has spent his entire life depending on himself without ever genuinely knowing love of any kind. When he finds an abandoned baby near his home, he immediately decides to Amanda Cox is definitely going on my new favourite author list with her debut book, The Edge of Belonging. This inspirational dual-timeline story grabs you from the first page. It never lets go until well after you've finished reading it. I'm still thinking about it. Harvey James is homeless and lives in a lean-to in the woods. He has spent his entire life depending on himself without ever genuinely knowing love of any kind. When he finds an abandoned baby near his home, he immediately decides to care for her and tells no one. Who would let a homeless man care for a baby? This must be his secret to keep from the outside world. This little girl, who he names Ivy, is finally someone he can love and will love him back. How can he keep her a secret from other people when he needs to get baby food, diapers and clothes to care for her? This first challenge leads to a fantastic encounter for Harvey and the beginning of a story that will leave readers breathless. While we find out how Harvey got Ivy, we see how Ivy has fared in the future. This interesting storyline collides in a way that will bring you to tears, both sad and happy. I loved this book! I loved Pearl! Her interactions with Harvey were gentle and genuine. How their lives become entwined makes this a book worth reading. The topics of homelessness, foster care, suicide, PTSD, emotional and physical abuse are all touched upon and covered sensitively and realistically. The title of this book is so appropriate and brings out the faith element of how we all belong to God. If you ever doubted God was involved in your life, this book will confirm He is there from the very beginning. Before you even know Him. God is always at work even when we don't see Him, hear Him or think He's even there. I can't say enough good things about this book. Read it. Be inspired. I know I was. I received this book courtesy of Baker Publishing Group/Revell and NetGalley for my honest opinion.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    As an adoptive mama I loved this split-timeline story about family, faith, and finding where you belong. Can’t wait to read more from this new author!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Libby May

    I. Adore. This. Book. The biggest point you'd have to take away from this review is that you need to read this book AS SOON as you can. I think there is like maybe two or three books that I love as much as this one. It's crazy. Here's why. #1. The characters. I love characters, you know that. If you've been following me for a short amount of time or a long amount of time, you know I love well built characters. I don't want this review to go on forever, so I'm just gonna do highlights. Harvey was the I. Adore. This. Book. The biggest point you'd have to take away from this review is that you need to read this book AS SOON as you can. I think there is like maybe two or three books that I love as much as this one. It's crazy. Here's why. #1. The characters. I love characters, you know that. If you've been following me for a short amount of time or a long amount of time, you know I love well built characters. I don't want this review to go on forever, so I'm just gonna do highlights. Harvey was the best homeless man character I've ever loved. For one thing, he wasn't old. He wasn't criminal or lazy or a thief. As his story unraveled when he got to know Pearl I fell more and more in love with him. He was a full grown man but I felt like he needed so badly to be mothered. And Pearl did that. Pearl was precious. I think it's very sad in the present tense situation, but in the past tense plot, she was the sweetest, most perfect mother for Harvey to stumble upon. XD I need a plaid mug now. Ivy Rose. I understood her need for the truth. The longing in her heart to know. Especially after a letter like the one her grandmother left for her. I would be pulling my hair out too! Her relationship with Seth and Reese was a really good aspect to give her depth as a character. Reese was everything I would want in a boyfriend if I was going to have a boyfriend ever. XD I can't even believe how blind Ivy was. #2 The flow of the plot line. As Ivy searches for answers about her past, they are constantly reaching out to small shops, people who knew Ivy's grandmother well. I liked that it wasn't pointless plot fillers. Ivy learned something about herself and when it switched to past chapters, those characters that Ivy met would come to life! I really appreciated that because I tried to do that with my book and it takes a lot of work. The author wove it so beautifully and intricately. It was awesome. #3 The Good vs bad. The manipulation that Ivy faced with her history and Seth was so raw and painful. I LOVED that she grew and she took time and that she would eventually overcome. I feel like emotional abuse in a relationship is so overlooked and I love that people are raising awareness, not only that women are capable and talented and strong, but that we DO have emotions, and those emotions can be used to control us. That doesn't mean we're weaker, it means STUPID PEOPLE LIKE SETH SHOULD be smashed in the face sometimes, thank you Uncle Harvey. #4 The ending. All 15 chapters of ending I don't think I can conclude the entire amount of love I have for this book into four points, but here. Everything just started falling like dominos, all the questions getting answered, all the raw hearts being found out, all the pasts being revealed, and the desperate need for love, for truth, for nurturing, and for overcoming. I cried. I cried big sobbing tears for almost an hour as I finished the last fifteen chapters. And they weren't even sad tears. It takes a good author to make me cry over sadness in a book, it takes an AMAZING story to make me cry over JOY and FULFILLMENT and HEALING. I stayed up so late and cried so long I felt amazing when I went to sleep. XD So thank you so so much, Amanda Cox and Revell Books, for sending me a free copy of this book! I loved it so much. A positive review was not required, and all words are my own! THANK YOU!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah M

    We all have a built in desire to love and be loved. This beautiful story blew me away with how a group of strangers became a family. It showed me that love transcends so many things: status, lineage, even the way we perceive our own worth. Pearl was such a sweet character and such an inspiration. Oh to be like her and serve the Lord by loving on others and helping them find Him! I related so well to sweet Miriam, and the deep consuming sorrow she was drowning in. I rejoiced with her when God brou We all have a built in desire to love and be loved. This beautiful story blew me away with how a group of strangers became a family. It showed me that love transcends so many things: status, lineage, even the way we perceive our own worth. Pearl was such a sweet character and such an inspiration. Oh to be like her and serve the Lord by loving on others and helping them find Him! I related so well to sweet Miriam, and the deep consuming sorrow she was drowning in. I rejoiced with her when God brought her through the sorrow and put a song in her heart. But Harvey. Harvey is my favorite character in this story and I feel like he has left a deep impression on my heart. I hope the next time I meet a homeless person, I will remember the lessons Harvey taught me and I will respond as I imagine Ms Pearl would have. This is my first book by Amanda Cox and I’ll be honest I had no idea what it was even about when I signed up for the launch team and agreed to read and review an ARC. I’ve been living through infertility for eight years and I usually shy away from the topic in my leisure reading. But Ms Cox has woven a story with such beauty and grace, that it was healing for me to read. I was blessed by it. I wept at places, and I realized anew how much our Heavenly Father loves us, no matter the brokenness in our lives, or how worthless we view ourselves. He loves us with a love we cannot fathom. To be grafted into His family is the greatest gift we can ever receive. We can have a place of belonging in Him.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Abby Breuklander

    Love love and love this story!! What an incredible story of true love and family ties that know no bounds. Family is the circle of people who love and support you, whether related by blood or not. God puts each and every person into our lives for a reason. His love is the ultimate example, loving us even when we will never truly deserve it, yet He still calls us His children.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dana Leet

    This book honestly, was my favorite read of 2020. If you love Christian fiction, and you want to try a new author I pray that Amanda writes many many many many many more books. This book pulls at your heartstrings in so many directions. It makes you really want to meet these characters in reality. All I can say is make sure to keep lots of tissues near.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Cox

    FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary electronic copy of this book from Revell Reads. These are my honest thoughts. Despite a single expletive, this book has soared onto my favorites list this year. This debut was fresh and different and deep. When I first saw the cover, I was blown away, but I wasn’t certain what to expect beneath it. Let me tell you, it wasn’t anything like I would have guessed. The story began with a homeless man, and this was something I had never seen done before. This a FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary electronic copy of this book from Revell Reads. These are my honest thoughts. Despite a single expletive, this book has soared onto my favorites list this year. This debut was fresh and different and deep. When I first saw the cover, I was blown away, but I wasn’t certain what to expect beneath it. Let me tell you, it wasn’t anything like I would have guessed. The story began with a homeless man, and this was something I had never seen done before. This approach tugged my heart in right away. This was a time-split novel, and sometimes the new scenes took me away from what I wanted to keep reading about, but overall, this was very well done (even in those tense moments). The theme of seeing the unseen people in our lives (those society deems less than worthy of our attention) was superbly on display. This is one reason this book is now a favorite. It takes the “look after orphans and widows” (James 1:27) and “will assemble the outcasts” (Isaiah 11:12) themes and creates a haven for those who are looked down upon by the vast majority of society. This story is powerful and needed today. I think it’s a must-read for anyone who wants to grow in compassion and who wants to know how to see with new eyes what you’ve missed so many times before. I loved the tension throughout. It was crafted by the constant unpredictability of the ups and downs of the story and the plot twists and surprises along the way. This helped create a wonderful, thick atmosphere for the story. Harvey’s and Ivy’s lives and problems, fears and hopes and goals fit well into this rich atmosphere. My emotions were engaged well from page one, and I ended up weeping on a couple of occasions (which made my heart happy even as the words on the page ripped it apart). Some of my favorite lines were: “I have faith God is somehow going to heal what feels impossible.” “There’s a better life for you out there than the one you’re living. All you have to do is take hold of it.” “We all need a place to rest and be reassured.” Triggers: losing a child/infertility, rape/sex trafficking, suicide (mentioned and inferred) Amanda Cox may be new on the Christian fiction scene, but I think she’s whittling out a place to settle in for a while. I can hardly wait to discover her next story. Content: one expletive

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    The Edge of Belonging is a Christian contemporary novel about finding family and belonging. The Edge of Belonging was a good book. It’s about a young woman who struggles with knowing that she is adopted and who finds out the circumstances of her adoption. Part of the story is told in the present time, as Ivy Rose deals with a breakup and with her grandmother’s death and with learning more and more details about her past as a foundling. The other half of the story is told in flashbacks of what hap The Edge of Belonging is a Christian contemporary novel about finding family and belonging. The Edge of Belonging was a good book. It’s about a young woman who struggles with knowing that she is adopted and who finds out the circumstances of her adoption. Part of the story is told in the present time, as Ivy Rose deals with a breakup and with her grandmother’s death and with learning more and more details about her past as a foundling. The other half of the story is told in flashbacks of what happened years before that ended with her adoption and the formation of her non-biologically-related family. The story was sweet and inspirational. I wish all adoptees could have such a happy ending. I liked how the author split the story into past and present. I didn’t find it confusing at all, and even with the flashbacks, the story was revealed piece-by-piece, heightening the anticipation. There was also a little bit of clean romance. And I liked the way the story ended, with God meeting everyone’s needs the perfect, though unexpected, way. I received a complementary copy of this book. All opinions are entirely my own.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    Wow! Can I just say this book is waiting to bless you with an anointed story that will leave you breathless. What is love, what makes a family, how are the pieces of our lives connected. These are all questions that are intertwined into a masterpiece. The characters are lovable and relatable and it’s hard to pick a favorite. We are all part of Gods perfect plan and sometimes the slightest thing leads to puzzle pieces that connect to each other years down the road. I find it hard to describe what Wow! Can I just say this book is waiting to bless you with an anointed story that will leave you breathless. What is love, what makes a family, how are the pieces of our lives connected. These are all questions that are intertwined into a masterpiece. The characters are lovable and relatable and it’s hard to pick a favorite. We are all part of Gods perfect plan and sometimes the slightest thing leads to puzzle pieces that connect to each other years down the road. I find it hard to describe what this book meant to me. In my opinion it deserves 10 stars and will go on my favorites list for 2020. Note to self have tissues nearby. I received a complimentary copy from the author/publisher. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    4.5 stars "There really are people who are alone in the world. People who have no one to look after them. . . . If the story of my life could say one thing, I'd hope it would show the importance of venturing into the highways and the hedges to let invisible people know they're seen and loved." Harvey James was one of "those"people. Alone in the world, surviving on his own by remaining invisible. . . . until one day the cries of one who was even more vulnerable than he, sounded from the edge of bel 4.5 stars "There really are people who are alone in the world. People who have no one to look after them. . . . If the story of my life could say one thing, I'd hope it would show the importance of venturing into the highways and the hedges to let invisible people know they're seen and loved." Harvey James was one of "those"people. Alone in the world, surviving on his own by remaining invisible. . . . until one day the cries of one who was even more vulnerable than he, sounded from the edge of belonging; and life was never the same. Ivy Rose returns home with a heart full of sadness and a mind that hasn't fully recovered from the weight of her misjudgments; the fact of the matter is, she feels lost or maybe she was never found . . . . except that she was . . . found . . . all those years ago on her parents doorstep. Cleaning out Grandma Pearl's possessions will be bittersweet, but she won't be alone, not really. And she has so many questions . . . . and judging from her grandma's final correspondence, Pearl had the answers. "There are things I never told you. Sometimes I kept silent because I lacked wisdom to know how to speak difficult truths. . . . . I knew I couldn't leave this world without giving you answers to the questions that have plagued your mind since you were a little girl." But the journal that her grandma unveils . . . is nowhere to be found. Without a doubt, readers have just been introduced to an author with an incredible acuity for deep, authentic stories; delivered with a measure of tenderness and grace. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Beverly Harvey

    Oh my goodness! To say I loved this book is an understatement!! This book touched every emotion and once I started reading I knew I would not be able to put it down!!! A must read for everyone.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kelly-Ann ~ Sassy Bookish Mama

    Wow, wow, wow!! I cannot believe this is Amanda Cox's debut book! This author truly tugs at ALL of your emotions. It was excellent. I absolutely have become a time-slip junkie so this book was right up my alley and she does both timeline so incredibly well. I didn't know which timeline I wanted to stay in more because they were equally captivating. In this story we meet some amazing main characters but four really stood out to me. Ivy is really the main one and whom the story is about centers on Wow, wow, wow!! I cannot believe this is Amanda Cox's debut book! This author truly tugs at ALL of your emotions. It was excellent. I absolutely have become a time-slip junkie so this book was right up my alley and she does both timeline so incredibly well. I didn't know which timeline I wanted to stay in more because they were equally captivating. In this story we meet some amazing main characters but four really stood out to me. Ivy is really the main one and whom the story is about centers on. She is an orphan who was adopted and is trying to find answers about how her adoption came about. She feels like something has been missing her whole life. She is a social worker and in abusive relationship. We meet Harvey who is also a broken soul and finds Ivy and his heart opens up in a way he never thought possible. He pours his unconditional love upon her without hesitation. I can't forget about Pearl because she truly was my favorite. She is the glue that holds all these people together. She is the person that you strive to be like in your Christian walk. She is not perfect by any means because after all she is a human but she has those godly characters that you seek after. She knows what its like to grieve and feel alone so she puts all those gifts at play when it comes to these people in her life. I have to mention Reese because he is swoon-worthy!! And I am not going to ruin it for you because I promise you, you will swoon at his character traits. Amanda Cox truly penned a beautiful story about acceptance, redemption, unconditional love, healing, hope and connections that come full circle. It really was an amazing story that I highly recommend. If you like dual time lines you will definitely love this story and you need to go pick it up ASAP!! I received a copy of this book from the Revell. I was not required to post a positive review. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kimmie

    "The Edge of Belonging" by Amanda Cox is a wonderful, heartfelt story about the true meaning of love and family. It's told in two timelines: present day, in which main character Ivy returns home to clear out her deceased grandmother's house, and twenty+ years earlier, when Ivy was an infant. Both timelines were amazingly well-written, and I very much enjoyed reading both of them and trying to anticipate how they would eventually come together. All of the major characters (Ivy, Harvey, Pearl, and "The Edge of Belonging" by Amanda Cox is a wonderful, heartfelt story about the true meaning of love and family. It's told in two timelines: present day, in which main character Ivy returns home to clear out her deceased grandmother's house, and twenty+ years earlier, when Ivy was an infant. Both timelines were amazingly well-written, and I very much enjoyed reading both of them and trying to anticipate how they would eventually come together. All of the major characters (Ivy, Harvey, Pearl, and Reese) are beautifully drawn and very detailed. Each seems very real and knowable, which unique strengths and weaknesses. I enjoyed seeing how each learned knew things and grew throughout the course of the story. In addition to great storylines, this book packs quite an emotional punch. I freely admit to crying several times due to the situations and the beauty of the storytelling. The final effect was almost cathartic, as I felt like I had emerged on the other end of the situations right along with the characters. There is a strong Christian message throughout the book. Most of the major characters are Christians at the start of the story, and it was nice to see how each lived their faith out in their lives. Pearl, in particular, was truly inspirational. If you're looking for a strong, interesting story, great characters who experience personal growth, and a strong Christian worldview, you absolutely cannot go wrong with this book. Five out of five chunks of smooth medium Cheddar!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Connie Saunders

    As I read this book, I was amazed that a debut novel could touch me so deeply. From the first paragraph, when I met Harvey James for the first time, until the closing lines, I was mesmerized by this story. The Edge of Belonging is told in dual-time, alternating between 1994 and the present, but these times blend together so that I felt like I was seeing a movie unfold. Harvey James, who felt like he had never belonged, grabbed my heart when he found a newborn baby abandoned in weeds along a busy As I read this book, I was amazed that a debut novel could touch me so deeply. From the first paragraph, when I met Harvey James for the first time, until the closing lines, I was mesmerized by this story. The Edge of Belonging is told in dual-time, alternating between 1994 and the present, but these times blend together so that I felt like I was seeing a movie unfold. Harvey James, who felt like he had never belonged, grabbed my heart when he found a newborn baby abandoned in weeds along a busy highway and decided that this baby would be treasured as he himself had never been. Move to present day and the story focuses on counselor Ivy Rose and newly discovered secrets of her past that will forever alter her future. Author Amanda Cox has created a cast of remarkable characters, including Harvey, Ivy, Pearl, Rose, and Reese and she tells their stories with memorable words that often made me cry. "Those people in children's services, they try to do a good job. But it's not the same as being loved by a mom and dad. It's not love when you can be given back when it gets tough." "Above all, Christ called her his and was gracious enough to give her people to remind her if she lost her way." "I think...I still can't believe I get to watch this beautiful life of yours unfold." Cox tackles some heavy topics, such as abandonment, abuse, addiction, and depression but she buffers them with love, hope, and the realization that a family unit can be created by more than blood ties. She also shows that there is mercy and grace through the power of God's love. If you enjoy contemporary Christian fiction, you absolutely need to read this book. I predict that Amanda Cox and The Edge of Belonging will be mentioned quite often in the months ahead and I wish that I could give it more than 5 Stars! I received a copy of this book from Revell. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kailey

    Wow! What a beautiful story! I was captivated by this book! I was so wrapped up in this story and didn’t want to stop reading! I loved how these five broken people were able to come together as a family. This is one that I know I will read again! It’s that good! I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

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