Review: Darkness on the Edge of Town by Jessie Cole

Title: Darkness on the Edge of Town

Author: Jessie Cole

Published: Harper Collins July 2012

Synopsis: My dad, he collects broken things … Where other people see junk he sees potential … My dad collects broken people too … Vincent is nearly forty years old, with little to show for his life except his precious sixteen-year-old daughter, Gemma: sensitive, insightful and wise beyond her years. When a stranger crashes her car outside Vincent and Gemma’s bush home, their lives take a dramatic turn. In an effort to help the stranded woman, father and daughter are drawn into a world of unexpected and life-changing consequences.

Status: Read from October 13 to 14, 2012 {Courtesy the author}

My Thoughts:

Darkness on the Edge of Town is a haunting tale of loss, tenderness and violence set in an isolated Australian valley. On the road outside the hilltop home Vincent shares with his teenage daughter Gemma, he finds an upturned car and a young woman cradling the lifeless body of her baby son. A collector of broken things and broken people, when the woman reappears just days later, barefoot, bruised and distraught, Vincent takes her into his home, and his heart.

Despite the differences in age and gender, Cole has given both Vincent and Gemma an authentic voice which each resonate with me in a way that is difficult to articulate. Though grounded in simple first person narrative, the prose creates a haunting melody of loneliness, grief and desire.
I developed such genuine compassion for the protagonists of the novel, Vincent’s kindness, Gemma’s confusion and Rachel’s grief are deeply affecting as they they vacillate between hope and despair.
Violence, compassion, love, responsibility and abuse entwine to create ambiguous relationships complicated by grief, jealousy and loneliness. Darkness on the Edge of Town explores the dynamics of intimacy with a rare sensitivity and truthfulness.
While the ending is perhaps more abrupt than I liked, it also creates a pleasing, if sad, symmetry.

Darkness on the Edge of Town is a compelling novel whose essence is powerful and honest. There are simply some stories that echo somewhere deep within, and for me, this was one of them.

Read a guest post by Jessie Cole here

Find Jessie Cole @

Website I Facebook I Goodreads

Available To Purchase

@Harper Collins I @BoomerangBooks I @Booktopia I @Amazon Kindle

via Booko

5 thoughts on “Review: Darkness on the Edge of Town by Jessie Cole

I want to know what you think! Your comments are appreciated.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s