The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox {Book Review}

 **I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own. 







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.



Amanda Cox is a blogger and a curriculum developer for a national nonprofit youth leadership organization, but her first love is communicating through story. She holds a bachelor's degree in Bible and theology and a master's degree in professional counseling. Her studies and her interactions with hurting families over a decade have allowed her to create multidimensional characters that connect emotionally with readers. She lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with her husband and their three children.

Wow, what a story! Do you ever finish reading a book and know that it is one that will stick with you for a long time? The Edge of Belonging is most definitely one of those books. It was so compelling and beautifully written that I was shocked to discover that it was Amanda Cox's debut novel. 

This book is a dual timeline novel that tells the story of Ivy Rose. We meet her in present day as she is getting out of a bad relationship and finds herself back at her grandma's childhood home after her passing. There she discovers that there may be more to her birth and adoption than she ever realized. In 1994, we meet Harvey- a homeless man who finds an abandoned baby and does everything in his power to take care of her and save her from the type of childhood he had experienced in foster care, never quite feeling as he belong. It was pretty easy to get an idea of who all these characters were in both past and present I thought, but it didn't stop me from being on the edge of my seat wondering how it would all play out in the end. I truly could not get enough of this beautiful story. The characters were well developed and flawed in such a way that made them all the more real. The story tackled some rather weighty topics like infertility, foster care, abandonment, depression, etc. in a way that again seemed very genuine and really tugged at my heart. There were certainly moments that had me reaching for the tissues, but in the end I really walked away with a sense of hope. The story of family in this story was just beautiful, and a great reminder that sometimes family doesn't look quite the way we expect it too... but that God puts people in our lives for a reason.

If you're looking for a new author to watch in the Christian fiction genre, this is definitely one NOT to be missed. With a debut novel like this, I cannot wait to see what Amanda Cox does next.


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