Review: The House on the Edge

Written by Alex Cotter
Cover Illustration by Kathryn Honesta & Typography by David Dean
Published by Nosy Crow

The House on the Edge is a thrilling, poignant mystery that kept me utterly captivated throughout: a story of past and present; of loss and healing; and, of community, friendship and family. 

Faith lives in an old house, The Lookout, perched precariously on the edge of a cliff which is in danger of being lost to the sea as cracks form in the garden, but the house is not the only thing that is in danger of being lost …

Faith’s family is in danger of falling apart after the disappearance of her father which has left her mother’s mental health in a very fragile state.  Faith is trying hard to support her mother, her younger brother Noah and herself.  Noah is obsessed with the notion that there is a sea ghost living in their cellar, a ghost who is looking for lost treasure.  Meanwhile, her Uncle Art is determined to take ownership of her family home.  Will Faith be able to save her family home before it is taken by the sea, or her uncle?  When Noah goes missing, Faith finds herself on a mission to save not only her home, but her brother …

This is a wonderfully atmospheric read with oodles of intrigue that kept me on the edge-of-my seat as I was mesmerised by the tantalising twists and tragic truths hidden within family history and local legend.  I loved how the history of The Lookout was reflected in both the past and the present in tales of sea ghosts, sacrifice, greed, shipwrecks and lost treasure, a reflection of the past filtering through to, and impacting on, the present … 

Faith is an incredibly sympathetic young girl.  She is angry and trying to hide it; she withdraws from her friends; she protects herself through denial and lying:  such an authentic and heart-breaking portrayal of a young carer who is lost, scared and hurting, and who struggles to allow others to help her, trying to remain invisible in order to hide her family problems from others.  I felt that her emotional journey was very sensitively portrayed as she comes to accept and forgive, showing great courage and strength in doing so. 

This is a wonderfully heartfelt, gripping mystery that I would highly recommend to those of 9+. 

Thank you to the Publisher and NetGalley for an e-ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.   I have now bought a copy for my class library.

This is my fifth book for my 20 (10) Books of Summer Reading Challenge which is hosted by Cathy Brown on her blog at

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