3 out of 4 stars
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Lost on the Edge of Eternity by Jonathan Floyd is a general fiction book about a group of students stuck at a certain time after their deaths who need help to move on.
Bill Fellars is the guidance counsellor at Brownville High and has his work cut out for him. After all, it’s not just the misbehaving students that need a nudge in the right direction. Very often, it’s your average quiet student who just needs to be heard. Brownville’s textile industry, which was the source of most of the income of Brownville, was about to close down, and this would mean that the high school would not be viable to maintain. Brownville is about to become a ghost town.
But what about the ghosts already there? What about the students that have passed, but since all they know is in Brownville, are too afraid to move on? Cue the intuitive counselling of Bill. When Bill spies a student in the hallways one day that looks suspiciously like Randy Galpin, a student who took his life, he thinks he is seeing things. Randy then appears to him in his office for a conversation, and Bill’s life is about to change forever. As more dead students come forward, hoping that Bill can deliver the final counselling they need, Bill is drawn into some crazy schemes to help put some things right before they can go over. But not all of the dead students have good intentions. Counselling the living by day is one thing, but counselling the dead at night can really take it out of you. Bill may have jumped straight into the deep end.
It was rather refreshing reading something where you didn’t expect it to be a mystery or a fantasy or a spy thriller. This way the author could incorporate bits of all sorts of genres, which made for an interesting read. When the book started, and it seemed that the entire book would basically be ticking off a list of how he helps each person to pass over, I was a little sceptical. A list in a story did not sound promising. However, the author has very cleverly woven some of the stories in with each other and, seeing as the dead students came from different years and different walks of life, the interaction worked very well. Some of the things he got involved in were a bit over the top as well as stretching the interpretation of the law, but some of his solutions were very clever.
Bill was a very morally sound character, and you could feel his empathy behind the decisions that he made. As a guidance counsellor, he certainly went above and beyond for his students. Helen, the librarian, becomes a perfect accomplice for him, and their side story becomes a beautiful addition to them helping the students. While there were too many students to go deeply into their backgrounds, the author has done a great job of giving you enough information about each character to feel their despair at things unfinished and, in one case, a burning desire for revenge.
The only thing that let this book down were some grammar and punctuation errors. They were not overwhelming, but enough to make you stop reading to go back and see why the flow of reading had been interrupted. These included missing commas in direct speech, backwards quotation marks, incorrect capitalisations, and a spelling error or two. There was also an instance where a character was referred to by the wrong name.
This book is a poignant look at life and regrets. In fact, it is a wake-up call on living the best life while you can, as you never know when life ends. I’m taking one star off for the punctuation mistakes and giving Lost on the Edge of Eternity 3 out of 4 stars. While not initially being a deep read, it resonates with you long after you finish it, as you contemplate your past, the decisions you made, and the life in front of you. This book has minimal profanity and no scenes of a sexual nature, so is ideal for anyone wanting a feel-good story.
Lost on the Edge of Eternity
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