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Official Review: The Edge of Farallon by Peter Skinner

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Official Review: The Edge of Farallon by Peter Skinner

Post Number:#1 by bluegreenmarina
» 01 Jun 2017, 10:53

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Edge of Farallon" by Peter Skinner.]

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3 out of 4 stars
Review by bluegreenmarina
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I have noticed that often the emotional impact of a novel has little to do with its length. Such is
the case with Peter Skinner’s book, The Edge of Farallon, which, despite a relatively small
number of pages, packs a hefty emotional afterglow.

Immediately, the reader is swept into the magic and mystery of the foggy wild cliffs of the California coastline. The protagonist of the story, known to us only by the pseudonym “Sam” arrives on a property shared by Angus and Lulu Willis. It is not immediately clear why he is there, but eventually we learn that he was hired either by Angus or Angus’ brother Frank to take care of a dangerous wild animal that has been spotted on the property. As Sam comes to learn more about Angus and his niece Lulu, he discovers that they are in the middle of a conflict over the ownership of the land on which they live. Due to the high stakes, Sam’s arrival is treated with suspicion – no one is quite sure what his role is in their family drama, or the true reason behind his timely arrival.

As Sam explores the abundance of the property and wilderness surrounding them, he discovers that there are also secrets and mysteries behind the smiling eyes of his hosts. Lulu and Sam seem to share a particular dark past, and despite their desire to remain independent, are drawn to each other from the start.

Due to the succinct nature of this book, it is difficult to summarize without revealing crucial plot points and spoilers. As the three main characters spend more time together, each of them influences the others to choose a path that will impact them for the rest of their lives. One of the most successful elements of this book is the gradual way we come to learn of each of their true natures, like onion skins being slowly peeled back to reveal the insides.

The author also does an excellent job of establishing strong, distinct, and consistent personalities within each of the three main players. The dialogue is moving and entrenched with a mood consistent with the mystery and heaviness of the events that take place. The significance of the setting – the atmosphere of the sunrises and sunsets on the Pacific coast, the patterns of the birds and wildlife described by the author – is echoed by Lulu’s and Angus’s knowledge of and love for their land. The author stresses the interconnectedness of nature and beast with mankind, emphasizing that at the core of everything is simply survival.

What I enjoyed most about this book is that much of the impression left behind came not from the words on the page but the words that were left unsaid. So much of the dialogue is brief and mysterious, that it leaves the reader wondering what exactly the character meant when he or she uttered the statement. This forces the reader to analyze the words within the dialogue for hidden meaning and metaphor, creating a surreal and dreamlike quality to the events that take place. While this was a strong point for much of the book, there were a couple of places where this style of writing made the dialogue confusing, causing me to go back a page to reread the exchange and try to determine its meaning. Sometimes it was not clear who was saying which statement, as many of the sections of dialogue left out any signifiers to indicate who was speaking.

The only other negative reaction I had to this book was that I simply wished it was longer. I wanted to spend more time with the characters in this story, as each of them was multifaceted and complex, and each seemed to have fascinating back stories of which we only got a few short glimpses. Rather than creating clear-cut “good” and “bad” guys, the author played with the concept of morality, and each of the three main characters had positive and negative characteristics that I wish had been explored farther.
This is a story which is both simple, yet deep, and one that will be enjoyed by those who appreciate serious works of fiction. Lovers of nature, wilderness, and California are likely to enjoy the rich and scenic descriptions laced throughout the story. It is a book that will make you think and feel despite its short length. I rate this book a strong 3 out of 4 stars, though I came very close to giving it a perfect rating. I simply wish that I, as the reader, had a bit more time to learn about and enjoy the well-crafted characters.

******
The Edge of Farallon
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Re: Official Review: The Edge of Farallon by Peter Skinner

Post Number:#2 by kandscreeley
» 13 Jun 2017, 14:38

Wow! Sounds pretty interesting for a short book. It's always a good sign when you want a short book to go on longer. Sometimes I think a short book is too long, so this must be a good book. Thanks for the review. Sounds quite intriguing.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway
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Re: Official Review: The Edge of Farallon by Peter Skinner

Post Number:#3 by MarisaRose
» 13 Jun 2017, 14:43

I love when an author creates mystery in a successful way that makes you want to keep reading. Sounds like a really great short book. Interesting!
"No two persons ever read the same book." -Edmund Wilson
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Re: Official Review: The Edge of Farallon by Peter Skinner

Post Number:#4 by Emmanuel Ameachi
» 14 Jun 2017, 06:51

It sounds so interesting a book,besides the review is good
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Re: Official Review: The Edge of Farallon by Peter Skinner

Post Number:#5 by Rosemary Okoko
» 17 Jun 2017, 07:21

Good to know you enjoyed the book even though it required one to try hard to understand. Good work with the review.
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Re: Official Review: The Edge of Farallon by Peter Skinner

Post Number:#6 by Cherryxing
» 19 Jun 2017, 20:58

Sounds interesting! I'll check it out!
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