From the very start, I knew the story would begin on a foggy night on Alcatraz Island, where the young daughter of a prison guard had gone missing. Only after I’d put the scene on paper did I wonder what circumstances had led the characters to that moment, and suddenly I envisioned a ship. It was a steamer, I realized, packed with Irish immigrants, along with some Italians, all bound for Ellis Island in a desperate search for opportunity.
As had been the case with my previous novels, various aspects of my family’s history were already finding their way onto the pages. You see, my maternal grandfather was a dark-Irishman with a penchant for reciting limericks (not all of them kid-appropriate) and whose olive complexion and black, wavy hair could pass, it was often said, as those of an Italian. While it seemed natural to borrow from such memories when creating my protagonist’s journey, I didn’t foresee how much I would also come to rely on my personal perspective as the daughter of an immigrant from Japan.
From historical memoirs recounting the experiences of Italian and Irish families in America, I soon discovered the similarities we shared regardless of time period or ethnicity. More often than not, there was a clash between the old world and the new, the deep pride of being “American” while still clinging to one’s roots, and, above all, the parents’ yearning to provide their children with a better life in an unpredictable, foreign world.
All of these elements gradually came together in The Edge of Lost, a story largely about culture and family—whether by blood or happenstance—and the sacrifices we’re willing to make for those we care about most.
From New York Times bestselling author Kristina McMorris comes an ambitious and heartrending story of immigrants, deception, and second chances.
Skillfully weaving these two stories, Kristina McMorris delivers a compelling novel that moves from Ireland to New York to San Francisco Bay. As her finely crafted characters discover the true nature of loyalty, sacrifice, and betrayal, they are forced to confront the lies we tell–and believe–in order to survive.