18 March 2015
"The Edge of Town" by Dorothy Garlock
The Edge of Town is set in 1922 and it follows the residents of a small Missouri town. The main family, the Joneses, is pretty much being held together by the eldest daughter Julie. She is a 20-year-old who quit school at 16 to take care of the household for her father and her siblings when her mother died. She has a budding romance with Evan, the son of the local foul-mouthed drunk. There is a subplot involve a man who has been raping young girls in the town for years and getting them pregnant.
I tried hard to stick with this book, but I finally gave up. I've read that there is also a murder in the plot which I didn't get to because having romance and rape in the same book was jarring for me. I don't consider myself a prude, but reading a scene about happy family life on the farm and then having it followed by a character expressing his sexual preference for little kids in rather crude language was a bit much for me. When the book switched back to the sweet scenes, I couldn't enjoy them. Having the mystery of the rapist still hanging out there cast a shadow over the romance for me.
While it is fun for a book to have some surprises, I like to have a feeling for what type of book I'm reading from the start. Although I read a lot of Christian historical romances, I also sprinkle in modern romances, magical realism, literary fiction, memoirs, and lots of other genres. Foul language and difficult subject matter isn't quite as unsettling if I chose to read that kind of book.