Life has suddenly been put on hold for Molly McGarvie. Her husband has passed away due to a bout of cholera and now she is faced with the sole responsibility of raising their children. To make things more difficult, she is pregnant and her brother in law has decided he wants her gone from the property. Faced with nowhere else to go, she contacts her brother who decides to bring her out West to where he lives. The journey however is difficult and Molly is faced with many challenges which test her strength and sanity. Meanwhile the town doctor finds himself trying to protect Molly and keep himself from falling for her at the same time.
Molly's story gives a glimpse of how difficult living in the West must have been. When her husband died, many would have just given up but she kept going strong for her children. Even though things kept going downhill, she never stopped because it got too hard. Frontier life was very hard and she somehow managed to survive and take care of her family by herself. It's a very inspiring and motivating story. I would have been so angry and bitter towards her brother in law and would have wanted to wish a thousand deaths on him. She however learns not to give in to vengeance and while she is angry, she moves on and does not let it consume her. It was also an interesting aspect of the story to focus also on slavery during the time period. Usually Western stories and slavery don't usually mix so it was a nice change to see them integrated. There was one scene that made me want to gag as it involves a stick and an eyeball. That was the first time I've read something like that in a book and it caught me off guard and made me shiver.
While I enjoyed the book very much, there were times when I felt the story to be cliched and a bit predictable. I felt like I had read the plot before in other historical Christian fiction novels and that I knew what was going to happen. The way some of the characters acted felt like I had seen them before. Also the way the how Westward experience was portrayed such as the portrayal of Native Americans, slavery, and just Western frontier life in general seem to play up the "myth of the West". There's nothing wrong with how it was portrayed, it just seem like there was nothing new to add and it just added to the stereotype of Western life. I just didn't feel that anything new or innovative added to the subject. However, as I said, I did enjoy this book. Even though the story was familiar, it was comforting. Molly is a strong women and I enjoyed reading her story. I will be looking forward to the next book in the series.
The Edge of Light by Ann Shorey is published by Revell (2009)