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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpectedly enjoyable read!
I read this book with a purpose as I will be attending a 'reader's day' with the author and had been allocated this book. I would never have picked it up in a million years as it didn't seem like 'my sort of read'. How wrong can you be! Sarah Dunant creates a masterfully interwoven plot with her two story lines about the disappearance of Anna , was it choice or 'did...
Published on 6 July 2003 by sunnylanes

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Confusing
Although I will have to admit to not fully understanding therefore being confused by this story, it did not spoil my enjoyment of the novel.
The story is divided into three sections. Anna has not returned home as expected from a trip to Italy and her daughter Lily is being cared for by friends including Estella the narrator. The suspense is intensified by Estella's...
Published on 5 Nov 2007 by LindyLouMac


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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpectedly enjoyable read!, 6 July 2003
By 
This review is from: Mapping The Edge (Paperback)
I read this book with a purpose as I will be attending a 'reader's day' with the author and had been allocated this book. I would never have picked it up in a million years as it didn't seem like 'my sort of read'. How wrong can you be! Sarah Dunant creates a masterfully interwoven plot with her two story lines about the disappearance of Anna , was it choice or 'did someone do the choosing for her'.The edge is right because I was on the edge of my seat reading this, and trying to figure out just how it was going to end and how was Dunant going to weave it all back together in the final chapter. She does of course and I closed the book feeling as if this had been a very gratifying reading experience and also telling myself not to be so limited and superficially judgemental in what I choose to read in future!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gripping Tale, 6 Sep 2005
By 
Mrs. K. Shoesmith (Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mapping The Edge (Paperback)
I picked up this book whilst on holiday, and finished it within 3 days.
Mapping The Edge is a truly gripping tale of the two possible scenarios in which the main character is involved. But which one? In both, Alice is prevented from returning home after a short break in Italy. Both are highly believable, but quite different, although the two situations gradually seem to become interwoven, sharing crucial events,and eventually the more originally sinister story becomes the one we can empathise with, whilst what begins as a seemingly uncomplicated affair driven by mutial desires becomes increasingly menacing. Running through the story is the background of the main characters' daughter,6 year old Lily,and her perception of her abandonment by her mother, as well as the concerns of Alices friends, Stella and Paul, who are responsible for Lily in her ever more lengthy absence. This book draws you in and pulls you with ever increasing speed towards its satisfyingly apt conclusion. A great book, and I shall be reading more from Sarah Dunant.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dunant Maps New Boundaries For The Psychological Thriller!,, 13 Oct 2005
This review is from: Mapping The Edge (Paperback)
Ms. Dunant delivers two different versions of the plot. What happens to Anna Franklin? She is thirty-nine, very attractive, "pretty was always too tame a word," a single mother and journalist, who goes for a short vacation to Italy, leaving her six-year-old daughter with friends in London. When she does not return, her friends are justifiably alarmed, but knowing Anna's reliability they invent rational reasons for her continued absence - until it becomes apparent that she may never return.
The two different accounts of Anna's adventures are cleverly interwoven with the narrative of what occurs at home with the daughter and friends who wait, as we wait, to discover just what is going on. The author also takes us on a journey into Anna's past to further develop her character. This chilling novel promises answers but never really delivers. Ms. Dunant's writing is taut and suspenseful. She is a three time finalist for the Golden Dagger Award. This is a novel you won't be able to put down - an engrossing read!
JANA
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bedtime readers, beware -- but it's worth it!, 21 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Mapping The Edge (Paperback)
Anna Franklin's "strategy for revitalization" involves an impulsive trip to Florence, Italy where she expects to rendezvous with her recently acquired part-time lover. Anna goes missing, and back home in London, those closest to her -- Paul, loyal friend and surrogate father to Anna's daughter Lily, aged six, and Estella, her long-time best friend -- are becoming increasingly anxious, worried -- and puzzled. "Mapping the Edge" is both a suspense story and a study of relationships. As a suspense story, the author borrows a premise used so effectively in some of Hitchcock's films: The innocent caught in the web of the villain's machinations; the dupe ensnared by the duper. On another level, the book explores relationships: between women and men, women and women, men and men, adults and children, the victim and the victimizer. Author Dunant accomplishes all this by filling the reader's plate with a clever device: two scenarios of what might have happened to Anna. In this author's hands, it is done skillfully and entertainingly, and the resolutions are plausible. If you're a bedtime reader, expect a late night when the engaging mixture of a suspenseful plot and intriguing characters seduces you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A page turner, 20 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Mapping The Edge (Paperback)
Mapping The Edge was a very enjoyable read, especially when the second dimension of mystery came into it. Although it is not the sort of book that will stay with me for a long time, I looked forward to picking it up whenever here was an opportunity. The effect of Anna's disappearance was sensitively dealt with regarding the child, Lily, but the other characters, Stella and Paul, were a bit thinly drawn and, to my mind, not terribly well dramatised. Once the narrative moved to Italy in the 'Away' sequences the novel really came to life, and the suspense held out until the end. I must admit feeling a little let down by the ending, but I won't spoil the plot for future readers. Nevertheless it was a very enjoyable read, and better than Transgressions, although I enjoyed reading that at the time.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A story that takes you right to the edge., 22 Dec 2002
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mapping The Edge (Paperback)
Dunant is a real pro, subtly using every trick in the book to create a psychological novel of intense suspense, a novel that succeeds beautifully in keeping the reader involved, on edge, and dying to find out, first, what is happening to Anna, and second, what is real. The main character, Anna, resembles many other single women about to turn forty. She is a woman with whom most readers will empathize, even if they find her domestic history to be a bit unusual. As she yearns for love and excitement, reveals her vulnerabilities, and shares her fears, all of which play their part in the mystery that develops during her one week vacation in Italy, Dunant ratchets up the suspense--we can imagine and share Anna's plight because she reflects our own insecurities. The fact that she does not return to her loved ones on time, and is considered missing, coincides with our own worst fears, while the fact that neither we nor Anna are sure about what is real and what is fantasy parallels the neurotic daydreams and nightmares everyone shares.
Dunant tantalizes the reader by presenting two parallel explanations for what happens on Anna's vacation. As Anna tells us about her past relationships and the birth of her daughter Lily, now six years old, along with two other, very different relationships which may or may not be occurring in Italy while she is "missing," Dunant provides just enough information to allow the reader to jump to conclusions, often incorrect, about what's going on. At the same time, she increases the suspense by having Anna's friend Estella describe the chilling effects of Anna's absence on Lily and the rest of the household back in England.
As the novel races to its conclusion, most readers will probably race along, too, unwilling to take a break till it's finished and the outcome known. It is only after the fact, when we "recollect in tranquility," that the true sense of Dunant's achievement can be appreciated--she has manipulated us like marionettes, and we have loved every minute of it. Mary Whipple
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Confusing, 5 Nov 2007
This review is from: Mapping The Edge (Paperback)
Although I will have to admit to not fully understanding therefore being confused by this story, it did not spoil my enjoyment of the novel.
The story is divided into three sections. Anna has not returned home as expected from a trip to Italy and her daughter Lily is being cared for by friends including Estella the narrator. The suspense is intensified by Estella's description of the household's reaction to Anna's disappearance. It was the other two scenarios that I found confusing, was she with her lover as planned or was she the victim of kidnap. This will certainly keep you guessing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A story that takes you right to the edge.,, 3 Oct 2005
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mapping The Edge (Hardcover)
Dunant is a real pro, subtly using every trick in the book to create a psychological novel of intense suspense, a novel that succeeds beautifully in keeping the reader involved, on edge, and dying to find out, first, what is happening to Anna, and second, what is real. The main character, Anna, resembles many other single women about to turn forty, and she is a woman with whom most readers will empathize, even if they find her domestic history to be a bit unusual.
As she yearns for love and excitement, reveals her vulnerabilities, and shares her fears, all of which play their part in the mystery that develops during her one week vacation in Italy, Dunant ratchets up the suspense--we can imagine and share Anna's plight because she reflects our own insecurities. The fact that she does not return to her loved ones on time, and is considered missing, coincides with our own worst fears, while the fact that neither we nor Anna are sure about what is real and what is fantasy parallels the neurotic daydreams and nightmares everyone shares.
Dunant tantalizes the reader by presenting two parallel explanations for what happens on Anna's vacation. As Anna tells us about her past relationships and the birth of her daughter Lily, now six years old, along with two other, very different relationships which may or may not be occurring in Italy while she is "missing," Dunant provides just enough information to allow the reader to jump to conclusions, often incorrect, about what's going on. At the same time, she increases the suspense by having Anna's friend Estella describe the chilling effects of Anna's absence on Lily and the rest of the household back in England.
As the novel races to its conclusion, most readers will probably race along, too, unwilling to take a break till it's finished and the outcome known. It is only after the fact, when we "recollect in tranquility," that the true sense of Dunant's achievement can be appreciated--she has manipulated us like marionettes, and we have loved every minute of it. Mary Whipple
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mixed reaction, 2 April 2010
This review is from: Mapping The Edge (Paperback)
Whilst I enjoyed the writing and the story, the last page, no, the last 3 lines, totally confused me. I had no problem at all with the parallel stories of Anna - either kidnapped or have an affair - and in terms of being able to read the book and know which plot I was in at which point in time that was fine. What was confusing, and possibly undermines the book, is the last 3 lines. If the author wanted us to think that Anna had imagined BOTH plots that would be ok, but, the final chapter tells us (from description of Anna) that one of the plots must have happened. So, ok, I thought, it was THAT plot and maybe she's going to tell her friends back home that it was the other plot for whatever reason, but then the last three lines of the book imply one of two things, which I unfortunately can't repeat without giving the game away, but suffice to say they undermine the plot that is the one we are finally led to believe has happened. They're unnecessary and don't add anything to the story, instead they just confused me.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Take it or leave it, 4 Aug 2008
By 
Boof (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mapping The Edge (Paperback)
I have just finished reading this and I am left feeling "is that it?"

The protagonist, Anna, has disappeared off to Italy without telling anyone where or why (leaving her 6 year old daughter at home - nice). The story then alternates between the one written by her best friend Estella who has had to drop everything to look after the daughter, and Anna (who just to confuse matters more, has two seperate stories going on simultaniously - one where she is kidnapped and another where she is onvolved in a fling with a married man -and we never know which is the real story). Confused? So was I!

I never felt like I knew any of the characters well enough, which led me to not really care very much about any of them. Certainly the kidnapper was very one dimensional and I never understood what his motives were at all, not even at the end.

It did only take me 2 days to read this book and it did have its page-turning moments but having finished it I really am left thinking "who cares?".
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Mapping The Edge
Mapping The Edge by Sarah Dunant (Paperback - 7 July 2005)
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