Nov 152013

ATEOTS14iA Young Man’s Coming-of-Age

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

Note: I know this book isn’t marketed or labeled an Austenesque novel, but I found it to be one. It isn’t a tradition retelling or modern-day adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, but readers can clearly see that this story was inspired and influenced by Pride and Prejudice and it’s characters. Similar to Find Wonder in All Things, At the Edge of the Sea definitely felt Austenesque.

In Pride and Prejudice,Darcy and Elizabeth are separated by social standing, upbringing, and wealth – in At the Edge of the Sea, Karen Cox creates an even bigger chasm between her principal characters by making Billy Ray the son of an evangelist preacher and Lizzy Quinlan the town’s “sadder but wiser girl” with a reputation for being “fast and loose.” Taking us back to the summer 1959, Karen Cox tells the story of a young man and how his decision to show compassion to another person changes him, changes her, and changes the course of their lives.

Oh my! There was so much I adored and admired about this novel! I loved that this coming-of-age story is about a young man’s transformation into adulthood, and that we see the whole novel from his perspective. What a refreshing change! I deeply enjoyed the characters in this novel, especially Lizzy and Billy Ray, whom I felt a lot a strong sense of connect and empathy towards. They are both such strong, admirable characters, and I loved witnessing their inner battles, discovery of self, healing, and personal growth.  In addition, I greatly enjoyed the time period and setting; I thought Karen Cox did marvelous job of capturing the tone and social climate of this revolutionary era. And lastly, I loved that this book made me feel like I was on an emotional journey with the characters – experiencing their joyful highs and despairing lows, engaging me in such a way that I would frequently laugh, sigh, and feel tears well up in my eyes.

As you might guess, I most definitely enjoyed finding all the subtle connecting links to Pride and Prejudice peppered throughout this story. Billy Ray’s got Darcy written all over him with his reserved manner, fastidious nature, and responsible demeanor. And although Lizzy Quinlan’s got a bad reputation and prickly temperament, she puts one in mind of Elizabeth Bennet with her spiritedness, independent attitude, and penchant for teasing. Other recognizable personalities include Miss Bingley, Lydia Bennet, Mr. Bennet, and Mrs. Gardiner – all who I greatly enjoyed. I also loved spotting the clever inclusions of familiar Pride and Prejudice events like the overheard insult, refused proposal, sister in need of rescue, and truth-bearing letter.

I was utterly charmed and enthralled by this novel! Having read the other two superb Austenesque novels by Karen Cox, I knew I could expect a high-caliber story rich with dynamic characters, intelligent insights, and evocative prose. At the Edge of the Sea is a poignant and expressive love story that should not be missed!  I highly recommend!

*Because of the inclusion of a few intimate scenes, I’d recommend this book for Mature Audiences only.   

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pride-prejudice-bicentenary-challenge-2013-x-20031 out of 30!

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  12 Responses to “At the Edge of the Sea – Karen Cox”


    This book sounds great! I really enjoyed 1932 by this author and this sounds just as good. I am hoping to read this book later this month, it’s right towards the top of my TBR list.


    I love discovering books that have an Austensque feel to them and yet are their own story too. I look forward to reading this one with its unique setting. Thanks for your thoughts.


      That is absolutely what this is, Sophia Rose! I might not have stressed this much in my review, but the unique setting really does introduce some interesting conflicts and experiences for these characters. I greatly enjoyed the blend. 🙂


    Lovely review, Meredith! I won this book in a giveaway and I am so excited to start reading it! I loved Karen’s other two books!!:)


    I couldn’t agree more! Karen has given us yet another treasure!


    Thank you Meredith, for your kind words and thoughtful review 🙂 Nothing makes an writer smile like saying, ” I would frequently laugh, sigh, and feel tears well up in my eyes” Authors are all a little wicked that way 😉 I’m glad you enjoyed the story, and hope your readers do too. Thanks Kelli, Ceri and Sophia for your comments!


      I’m so very glad I read this novel, I can’t believe I was hesitating on it!?! Thank you for writing such a wonderful and beautiful work, Karen!

      LOL! Authors are like puppet-masters, huh? Pulling all the strings! 😉


    This does sound charming! Thanks for bringing it to my attention; I hadn’t heard of it prior to your review.

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