Genre: Contemporary literary
Publication Date: 19th October 2019 by Apedale Press
Estimated Page Count – 242
It gives me enormous pleasure to be on the blog tour of Beyond the Margin by Jo Jackson. Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for including me, and to the author for the copy of the book in exchange for my honest reader experience. Details of an exciting bookish giveaway at the bottom!
What’s it about?
Is living on the edge of society a choice? Or is choice a luxury of the fortunate?
Joe, fighting drug addiction, runs until the sea halts his progress. His is a faltering search for meaningful relationships.
‘Let luck be a friend’, Nuala is told but it had never felt that way. Abandoned at five years old survival means learning not to care. Her only hope is to take control of her own destiny.
The intertwining of their lives makes a compelling story of darkness and light, trauma, loss and second chances.
From the first chapter, this book just had me. I need say nothing much about the plot other than what you see in the synopsis because Beyond the Margin is all about the way it makes you feel.
I found it both captivating and strangely, perhaps even inexplicably, calming. It’s raw and honest and visceral but is told with such skill that, despite the pity, the fury and the pain, it becomes beautiful, warm and uplifting. I was compelled by Joe’s journey. Near isolation makes him face himself; his spinning merry-go-round of regret and guilt is slowed sufficiently by the wonderful couple who both need him and show faith in him, for him to get off and start to heal.
Nuala is so blameless and broke my heart many times on her journey. Luck is no friend to her, until it is. Good people in her life are transient and so often become out of reach. Trying to make it on to the main page when your life is lived out beyond the margins may never be an available option, but she shows a resilience which is borne of her traumatic experiences, with an added strength of character and intelligence that maybe even she doesn’t see.
An exceptional piece of writing, characters to treasure and remember. I didn’t want this to end; very emotional. I now have a book hangover that I don’t have time for! Wouldn’t swap it for the world though – can’t recommend this highly enough.
About the author:
Jo Jackson reads books and writes them too.
Having worked with some of the most vulnerable people in society she has a unique voice apparent in her second novel Beyond the Margin.
She was a nurse, midwife and family psychotherapist and now lives in rural Shropshire with her husband. She loves travelling and walking as well as gardening, philosophy and art.
Her first novel Too Loud a Silence is set in Egypt where Jo lived for a few years with her husband and three children. Events there were the inspiration for her book which she describes as ‘a story she had to write’.
To connect with Jo:
My thoughts come on the last day of what I hope has been a very successful tour for a wonderful book. Please have a look at the tour banner as you’ll be able to find some other opinions, excerpts and author interviews to read.
Giveaway to Win signed copies of Beyond the Margin and Too Loud a Silence by Jo Jackson. (UK only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.