Carol edited the summary of The Edge of the Earth: A Novel Friday, August 16, 2013.
Gertrude has come to the edge of the world, the eerie and uncanny place at the edge of our vision. In the early1900's it is Point Pinos on the rocky coast of California. She and her husband Oskar, and two other keepers are the light tenders. The tender can only land four times a year and the overland route is many days. The lightkeepers form a small society with rules and customs banded by their remote location and limited resources
Gertrude has married the cousin of her fiancé and moved far away. I think she learns the nature of this man who has courted his cousin's love. He and Gertrude see this natural world in such different ways. She has become entranced with what she has learned, and he seeks ways to harness it for himself. She is the schoolteacher, but allows the children to teach her the enchanting ways of their home.
The plot is beautifully crafted and moves with the inevitability that I missed at the start. Gertrude is a flawed creature but one who has a link to the spiritual. I really enjoyed living in her world, and I came to respect her. Humans do not seem to do so well with the edge of the world. In the push to learn and own each corner, much can be destroyed. The tension of saving the unknown while learning the spiritual is an enduring conundrum and this book illustrates this beautifully.