Read Jagged Edge of the Sky by Paula Marie Coomer Online


A free black man in London wanders too close to the docks on the wrong day. A woman gives birth alone in a barn loft near an Australian outback crossroads. A mother removes her apron, walks away from her family, and tells her secrets only once. A woman in a California living room sobs as her husband informs the assembled adult children that the youngest is only half-brotheA free black man in London wanders too close to the docks on the wrong day. A woman gives birth alone in a barn loft near an Australian outback crossroads. A mother removes her apron, walks away from her family, and tells her secrets only once. A woman in a California living room sobs as her husband informs the assembled adult children that the youngest is only half-brother to the rest. A mental health agent in Idaho struggles with addiction, bureaucracy, and an affection for one of her charges, a dark-haired transient from Australia. In Paula Marie Coomer's Jagged Edge of the Sky connections of blood and circumstance emerge from a kaleidoscopic narrative in which these and other characters navigate rugged personal terrains of loss and hope. The resulting literary landscape is spare and challenging as the Australian outback, mythical as the American West. With a relentless eye, Paula Marie Coomer flinches from neither the gruesome nor the humorous in this fractured tale of loners, siblings, parents, and lovers....

Title : Jagged Edge of the Sky
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781513705705
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 204 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Jagged Edge of the Sky Reviews

  • Lauren Jones
    2019-03-28 07:24

    The Big One was a phrase folks in Western Australia used regularly. It had been years since a good, restorative rain. Every half century or so, heaven uncorked its barrels, as Merl liked to put it. When that happened, Deadhorse Creek and Gillagong Slough became a roaring, killing monster, swallowing man, beast, and hearth, rearranging the jagged edge of the sky.The world revolves around life. Life, at any cost can be a blessing or a curse, but Coomer allows her readers to decide for themselves what they make of the several characters that she writes about. From Australia to North America, this author's love of sharing others' tales has been made apparent. This work of literary fiction is a beautiful array of descriptions in what one would consider, an amazing life...a harsh abandoned life...and a life worth living. There are portions of this novel that are quite emotional; however, for those who stick it out to read until the is a truly entertaining and riveting story. Coomer has a way of spanning her research with remnants and bits of truth crossed with fiction.This novel first delves into the life of a woman, named Cherise Tuor, who feels her life has completely stopped...become uneventful even though she has a loving husband and children. She becomes infatuated with a man, Rich Hand, who has traveled with neighboring Americans into the Outback for educational purposes. Both her and the neighbor, Jeanne McMurtrey become pregnant from an affair with Rich. After having the child, Cherise ultimately leaves her husband and children for a new life while Jeanne and her family travel back to America. Two children, left with no recollection of who their father is. After being told...Dale McMurtrey goes in search of his father in Australia while Martin Tuor, after his divorce, travels to the Americas in search of the great West. Coomer's story is very character-driven; however, all characters that are mentioned have all had some type of connection with the other characters in the book. This connotation makes is a tremendously satisfying read, but it is deeply emotional.Coomer is exceptionally knowledgeable with her research and her writing is amazing. This author does a great job with character development and originality. The pace is a little slower than intended, but not so slow as to hinder interest. This authors has a mesmerizing novel that will both captivate and immerse the reader into a spiraling vortex of emotion and complexity. If you are a reader of literary fiction, this may be perfect for you. On a quick note, this novel is a bit different from general literary fiction; it can be categorized as experimental since an open mind is necessary for this read. A free copy was exchanged for an honest review of this fictional piece.

  • Kay Mcaloney
    2019-04-07 07:42

    I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest, independent review. There were a lot of characters in this book, many described in great detail and others just a short snippet. This story goes back and forth in history and at times can be confusing and hard to keep up with. There was a great and interesting historical point of view of Australia. There were many issues covered in this book that include mental illness, drugs, sexuality, etc. that are issues in many families today. I believe it would be easier for the reader if there were quotations used when people are talking, rather than reading a paragraph where there are thoughts and statements in the same paragraph. I enjoyed the reading questions at the end that made me think about the books and would be interesting for a reading group.

  • Erika
    2019-03-25 08:34

    I received this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. These thoughts are purely my own and not influenced in any way. Let me start by saying, I really do not think this book was made for me. I generally dislike books that switch around multiple viewpoints because I tend to forget names and characters seem to not be developed as well as they potentially could be. This book was no exception.I liked the idea of this book: in general it's a character analysis on how a mother's selfish decision to leave her children (more on that later) impacts the other characters either directly or indirectly. From this, we see how many of Cherise's children do not develop well and how this maladjustment leads to the detriment of marriages and relationships and certainly exacerbated two of the children's mental health ((view spoiler)[although I will say that Piotr and Martin's schizophrenic tendencies would likely have appeared regardless of Cherise's leaving (hide spoiler)]). While I do see why Cherise would have left her oblivious husband for a more seemingly caring and more attractive person, I really could not sympathize with her at all nor the attractive Rich, which brings me to my next issue with the book: there was little to no character development and I really did not care about any of the characters' problems. I actually did like the formatting of the book delving into situations that result in change - I found it a very interesting way of doing it - and I do recognize that the book is more a collection of loosely related vignettes, but I really would have liked to have seen more done with the characters. I don't mean tell-not-show, but I would have preferred longer "chapters" with fewer characters rather than everybody and their brother getting a say when there were some really interesting characters that I feel could have been fleshed out more, or even keeping it within the family, as I started finding it a chore to read because I did not care about whatever the tertiary characters were going through. Again, this is probably a problem with my preferences and not necessarily with the book. Now onto the stuff I did like: I did actually find some of the characters interesting. Martin and Piotr's portions of the book were really well written and I would have liked to have seen more of Piotr's perspective (Martin's "chapter" is really fleshed out and there is not much more that could have been said about him) and I did like Cherise's "chapter" even if I detested her as a character and think that it could have been alleviated by having a little more emphasis on her. (view spoiler)[ And I did like the possible reveal that she might have had some sort of mental illness similar to Martin that could have explained why she kept running even if she did start to feel at least some pangs of love and remorse for her children and what she did to them. (hide spoiler)] As I previously mentioned, the formatting of using change as a time marker instead of a stated time skip was really interesting and I did like it. The imagery was really well done and it seems like the author really did her research on life in the Australian Outback: I even had to look up some of the slang, which made it more immersive for me! I also liked how some questions weren't answered and the reader had to come to their own conclusions about some of the characters and their motives. I do think that mental health was portrayed very well in this book and I like that there wasn't a very neat ending to the book, just like in real life. Like I said before, this book was not really my cup of tea, but I can certainly see why so many readers like it. I would absolutely not recommend this to people who like a more linear story-line or people like me who have a general aversion to books having three or more perspectives. However, if you are a fan of short stories loosely linked together or are a fan of multiple character perspectives with some really good imagery of the Outback, I would definitely say you should give it a go.

  • Henk-Jan van der Klis
    2019-04-15 12:41

    The novel Jagged Edge of the Sky primarily on Martin Tuor, his extended family members, and mental disorders, is a rare construct of fiction. Author Paula Marie Coomer warns her readers upfront on the non-sequential glimpses and puzzle pieces in the story. Although chapters have headings indicating who's being described, intra-chapter switches in both time (the 1950s in Australia, 60-90s in the U.S.), and person are often made. The further you read, the more becomes clear if you take into account what schizophrenic and bipolar disorders work out and take the many characters that pop up work out. Next to Martin, you'll meet Cherise Tuor, Rich Hand, Jeanne and Dale McMurtreyThe sex is abundant, partly 'for child making, easy', partly raw and quick. Passion is a rare exemption. Think of men and women stepping out of their marriages after giving birth to several children, an Aussie trading the outback for the American West being labeled as Crocodile Dundee. Half-brothers, drugs addiction and the difference education can make in a child's life. Topics like going back to your roots, the restless soul, bloodlines, and the clash of cultures and variants of English are addressed in this novel, which is quite open-ended in many places. "Jagged Edge of the Sky attempts to reveal a story by noting changes in characters' lives apart from clocks and calendars. " the author notes in a preface. Flying colors for this experiment!

  • Megan | A Page to Turn
    2019-03-30 11:40

    While I think the idea and intent behind this book was smart and pretty well played out, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I found it very hard to keep up with what was going on as it jumped around between stories and characters and I got lost a little in what was happening. I found myself having to read sections or even whole chapters over again to catch everything that was happening. I wished for a lot more dialogue and a lot less prose. I felt like a lot of the characters were under-developed just due to the sheer amount of characters to actually develop. I would love to see expanded versions and better plot and character development. You do get a slight warning about all of this upfront, but it was still hard to follow along, at least for me.That being said, I did like all of the family topics and subjects that were covered and I feel like many people could relate to some of these characters. From broken families, to drugs, mental disorders and more. I really enjoyed seeing the historical side of Australia and the US. It was definitely an interesting take on literature, parenthood, and family. The thing I liked most about this book was the honesty. It was raw, dirty and truthful when it comes to family and life and how hard things can get. It’s not pretty and it’s not wrapped up in a nice little bow.

  • Mark
    2019-04-06 13:28

    This was an unusual book, that because of its complexity, required a high level of concentration to follow, but was rewarding nonetheless. The author had researched her characters and situations thoroughly and it showed in the atmosphere and richness of her narrative. It brings together a wide range of times, places and people, each of which is connected to one character, a mother who decides to leave her husband and children behind on an isolated West Australian farm to pursue freedom with an itinerant. In this however is my only criticism - the inconsistency in the chronology made it really hard to follow, so instead of relaxing, it was an intense read.I felt the author described rural West Australian very well (as only one who has lived there would know it). Similarly, rural USA, which whilst on the other side of the world, was similarly isolated and challenging. I didn't find it a neat book - in that the stories and characters didn't develop and come together smoothly - and it certainly conflicted with my plan for 2016 to only read books with good pace, a defined plot and a well constructed climax.In a phrase - strange, but good.

  • Sue
    2019-04-05 12:53

    This book takes a while to read, it is complex but somehow it grasps your interest and encourages you to keep going. While the narrative jumps around from character to character and could be confusing it does open up the story further with character details.To me the book was about life: how a mother's leaving can have life-long effects on her children, and others in the community, how a harsh environment can shape and influence a person and sometimes they need to escape, and it certainly doesn't idealise family-hood. In this book the reader is allowed to see the beauty and ugliness of the human existence.

  • Polly Krize
    2019-04-05 09:32

    I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.From the Australian Outback to North America, this magical book offers in depth characterization and differing viewpoints, all tied together in amazing style. Fascinating to dive deep into decisions that affect the rest of your life, often quite brutally. Exceptional and recommended.

  • Dianah
    2019-04-15 14:39

    A collection of interconnected vignettes, this novel explores the intersection of family and place. Coomer tackles sexual desire, broken families, mental illness and deceit amid the backdrop of the Australian Outback. Lovely!

  • Bonnie Dodge
    2019-04-03 07:39

    Smart, edgy, often times too real to continue reading, Paula Coomer's JAGGED EDGE OF THE SKY is one of 2016's must-read books. The language is beautiful, moving, and the characters move through life with intensity. Dense and complex, this is a book you can't race through, but will want to savor.

  • Jess' Reads
    2019-04-16 11:49

    When I first read the premise of Jagged Edge of the Sky, I was intrigued and I must say a bit wary as I was worried if I would be able to follow the characters described. Once I opened the book and consumed the story, the case was to the contrary.While I hit a small snag in identifying who was who in the beginning, I must say that it didn’t last long. I was able to catch on and follow along relatively quickly.Believe it or not, I enjoy it when an author stretches beyond the bounds of what the common place number of characters would be in a given story. I love it because there are no rules to how many characters should be written into a book. Therefore I love to see what that author will do and what rules they will write for themselves.Ms. Coomer, I feel, was on fire in this work. Her written imagery of lust, links, location and even generational time periods was on point. Situations were interspersed and yet seamless. For instance, even though the characters are different and reside in various locations, they are interconnected and Ms. Coomer illustrates the links with more than just the use of simple sheer coincidence. You actually feel these bonds. With Jagged Edge of the Sky, Paula Marie Coomer is upfront and in-your-face. Her language pulls no punches. At the same time, her genius is quiet and understated. I give this 4 out of stars. I’m definitely going to pick up another one of Paula Coomer’s works and I recommend that you do, too.

  • Linda
    2019-03-25 12:32

    I freely chose to review this book after it was sent out 3 times and I finally received it in the mail after waiting for months. Jagged Edge of the Sky is about different people who had to choose whether to go right or left and how their choices changed their lives for the good or bad. Mostly it is set in the Australia outback. It is enough to make anyone second guess their decisions and list pros and cons before they take a step, but as a fractured tale, it left a lot to be desired, and I wanted more.