Thursday, September 13, 2012

Focusing on Family: A Review of Mary Connealy's "Over the Edge"

Mary Connealy's third and final book of the Kincaid Brides, Over the Edge, thoroughly concludes the series with her usual comedic flair.  

Over the Edge The first two novels, Out of Control and In Too Deep tell the stories of the two older Kincaid boys, Rafe and Ethan, and highlight their views of an accident from their youth that changed their lives forever.  Now in Over the Edge we finally get Seth's take on what happened that night in the cave, when the floor collapsed and burning kerosene fell on Seth, burning him badly and causing him to go a little crazy.  His experiences in the Civil War were no help to his sanity, and he does not remember getting married near the end of the war.  However, his bride and 8-month-old son show up at the start of the novel, beginning Seth's war to reclaim his memory and sanity.

As with her other novels, the romance between the main characters was laced with humorous situations and tenderness, for all that the bride was angry enough to take shots at her errant husband. 

Family, throughout the whole series, seemed to be a major theme, but it was most prominent in Over the Edge.  Connealy surprised me in an unexpected plot twist - the existence of a fourth Kincaid boy - and all four of them must work together in the novel to accept and forgive themselves and their father, who had started another family while still married to the three boys' mother.  Each has spent years believing himself responsible for the collapse of their family, and they truly need God's strength and each others' support to work through this unexpected turn.  The youngest, Heath, also needs help learning to forgive his older brothers for being part of the other family and to learn how take comfort in them and to be a real family with them. 

It's a great, light romantic comedy and fitting conclusion to the series, but it lacks some of the depth of novels by other authors.  It's still a great read and I highly recommend it, but be sure to read the first two first!  Here is a link to a trailer for the novel:

0.5: "Closer than Brothers: Surviving Andersonville" (a related prequel)

Kincaid Brides
1. Out of Control
2. In Too Deep
3. Over the Edge 

"Runaway Bride" (follows Trouble in Texas and Kincaid Brides series; from the novella collection With This Ring?)

Cimmaron Legacy
0.5 "The Boden Birthright"
1. No Way Up
2. Long Time Gone
3. Too Far Down

"The Tangled Ties that Bind" (follows Trouble in Texas and Kincaid Brides series; from the novella collection Hearts Entwined)

This review is an honest opinion, written for Bethany House Publishers as part of their book review program, and I was in no way obligated to write a positive review. 

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