Monday, January 2, 2023

The Edge of Time by Loula Grace Erdman



This was a really special book---mainly because the author was so very wise. It reads with the undertones of a mother cautioning a daughter on the things that will make or break a marriage---things I never would have seen had I actually read this when my Mom gave it to me 16 years ago at age 27. 

The story is of newly married Bethany and Wade who leave Missouri to homestead on virgin land in the Texas panhandle. All the odds are against them and Bethany holds on to the thought that maybe Wade would rather be with her cousin, Rosemary, who he had originally planned to bring out West. Wade and Bethany overcome all the issues stacked against them, fighting with their love and courage, and Bethany learns in the end that it was she Wade wanted all along. 

While I'm not normally into romances, this one was gentle and I enjoyed reading about these early homesteaders and all the challenges they faced. Family lore tells me my own great great grandparents lived in a dugout house in Oklahoma, raising 13 kids and riding out the Dust Bowl Days. Reading the story, I had a hard time imagining a dugout so I looked for some examples online. Wow---my current home would have seemed a mansion! 

 Most of the story was really well written and didn't come across as overly contrived. I did think they gave a little too much reverence to the preacher man. The scenes when the pastor came were kind of ridiculous (imagining the Israelites looking forward to Sunday for rest was laughable...). They treated that preacher like he was somehow holier than themselves and that weirded me out. 

 I also took issue with the way Bethany put down Mrs. Dillon. She is so kind otherwise, more than mere politeness, so it seemed out of place. 

 I thought the bit about fighting the fire by dragging a cow carcass was incredible! So far I've not been able to find anything on that online, so I'm going to ask some friends to see if this is a thing. 

 I had a special surprise at the end…mom left notes! She says, "Jealousy can kill true love---Trust will nourish it." Very true words of wisdom indeed!

This is the 1950 first edition. I'd love to know what the afterword says that was added to later editions.

This book meets the following challenges: TBR Challenge, Victorian Reading Challenge, The Alphabet Soup Challenge for the letter "E",  The Historical Fiction Reading Challenge, and the Brighter Winter Reading Challenge for "a book set during a journey". 

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