Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings

It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.
Today I'm featuring The Edge of Lost by Kristina McMorris, borrowed from the library.
The Edge of Lost 

Alcatraz Island
October 1937
Fog encircled the island, a strangling grip, as search efforts mounted.  In the moonless sky, dark clouds forged a dome over the icy currents of San Francisco Bay.
"You two check the docks," shouted Warden Johnston, his voice muffled by rain and howling wind.  "We'll take the lighthouse.  The rest of you spread out."
Dublin, Ireland
March 1919 
The foul haze of whiskey and cigarettes was lighter tonight than usuala shame the same couldn't be said of the mood.  Not that this surprised Shanley Keagan.  At nearly twelve, he'd performed in enough pubs to understand the patterns in a calendar.
Fridays were a sure bet for nice crowds, men eager to spend their fresh wages.  They would sing and laugh with old pals, toasting God's grace shining down upon them.  If in an especially generous mood, they'd even buy a round for strangers.  And when they were hushed down enough to welcome Shan to the "stage"sometimes a solid platform, more often a crate from the kitchenthey might mumble over the disruption, trading dirty looks, but by the delivery of his second joke, third at most, they were roaring with laughter, as attentive as parishioners at Easter Mass.
Page 56:  "Until then, Shan would quietly eat his supper in the guarded manner he had long ago mastered."
My thoughts:  The cover of this book drew me in, and the synopsis and geographical settings sealed the deal.  I will be starting this novel in the next week or so.
From GoodreadsOn a cold night in October 1937, searchlights cut through the darkness around Alcatraz. A prison guard’s only daughter—one of the youngest civilians who lives on the island—has gone missing. Tending the warden’s greenhouse, convicted bank robber Tommy Capello waits anxiously. Only he knows the truth about the little girl’s whereabouts, and that both of their lives depend on the search’s outcome.

Almost two decades earlier and thousands of miles away, a young boy named Shanley Keagan ekes out a living as an aspiring vaudevillian in Dublin pubs. Talented and shrewd, Shan dreams of shedding his dingy existence and finding his real father in America. The chance finally comes to cross the Atlantic, but when tragedy strikes, Shan must summon all his ingenuity to forge a new life in a volatile and foreign world.

Skillfully weaving these two stories, Kristina McMorris delivers a compelling novel that moves from Ireland to New York to San Francisco Bay. As her finely crafted characters discover the true nature of loyalty, sacrifice, and betrayal, they are forced to confront the lies we tell—and believe—in order to survive.

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