Book Review: The Raggedy Edge

January 19, 2012

Book Reviews

a country church

In keeping with my recent theme, a few weeks ago I downloaded another apocalyptic novel, The Raggedy Edge by Michael S. Turnlund.  It was an interesting, though not ground-breaking story.  A middle class family of 4 realizes they must flee their small city to the nearby rural town after the electrical grid goes down without explanation.

The main character is Jarad who is a policeman.  His wife is a nurse in the local hospital.  They have one son and one daughter who almost seamlessly make the adjustment from a wired-in adolescence in the city to nearly pioneer living in a cabin without their friends.

The author throws in a noteworthy religious twist.  Before the grid goes down, a branch of a national movement that claims to teach “God is Love” moves to the city.  They begin trying to strong-arm local pastors into joining or at least supporting their “ministry.”  The “preacher” of the cult is constantly attended by hulking linebacker types described as “missionaries.”

Contrast that with a nation that has willingly given up Christmas in the name of religious tolerance and only celebrates some vague holiday called Solstice.  Hmmm…

I liked the personalities of the rural townfolk, though not many were really well-developed.  They would be ideal neighbors with their selfless temperaments.  Everyone shares without prodding, only takes what they absolutely need from the community pantry, and they are all glad to pitch in for whatever labor is necessary.  Probably not realistic, but endearing.

I found it very interesting that the author mentions one prepper couple (described by the townspeople as very odd and eccentric) in the community, yet they are not included in the storyline itself.  What are the chances that your ill-prepared neighbors wouldn’t be knocking on your door at every turn if they knew you were well set?

What continued to confound me throughout the story post-collapse was that the former policeman (main character) would consider carrying a pistol or rifle and then would choose to leave it behind before going out on patrol or to assist in a dangerous situation.  And this was after a number of incidents that would most definitely suggest one ought to be armed!  I can’t imagine anyone in law enforcement taking such a cavalier attitude toward personal or family safety in that kind of environment.  In fact, I think in that situation the average citizen will wish to have that kind of protection on their own premises even.

Overall, the story was worth reading, but not one of the best in this genre. This book has a sequel called Crossroad of Shadows, but I have not read it.

Read this one?  What did you think?

Related posts

4 Comments on “Book Review: The Raggedy Edge”

  1. Stan Morris Says:

    I hear your complaint about Christmas and I’m not impressed. Every year some media has to run a story about some kook somewhere changing the word Christmas to some other holiday. The truth is that Christmas is celebrated all over the country and all over the world and not just by Christians. In Japan, most Buddhists celebrate Christmas and they don’t call it Happy Holidays. My wife is Buddhists and I’m an atheist. We celebrate Christmas every year. What Jesus Christ said is a lot more important than what people, Christian or otherwise, say about him.


  2. Laura Says:

    Thanks for your comment, Stan. I’ve been thinking it about for several days, but I’m still not sure I understand it.

    To clarify my point in the review- what I was trying to say was that true Christians will never remove Christ from their celebrations. Though they may be pressured to become more “politically correct,” “inclusive,” or “tolerant” with phrases like “holiday parties,” true followers of Jesus will not cease focusing on the birth of their Savior no matter what the agnostics, atheists, or other world religions do.

    In the story, people who were supposed to be church-going Christians, the pastor included, had all willingly abandoned “Christmas” in favor of “Solstice.” It was only post-collapse that they had nostalgia for that old holiday” Christmas” and decided to call it that in their small town.

    I’m curious- if you are an atheist, what is your interest in Jesus Christ and and what he said? Most atheists I am aware of do not consider him anything more than possibly a historic figure that made waves during his lifetime. They usually consider Gandhi more noteworthy.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.


  3. Mr Bill Says:

    Just finished the book. I share your frustration with the main character (Jarad) always leaving his firearm behind! Gee I don’t know…. should I or shouldn’t I? He seems to own 3, his service pistol, a .22 “hunting” rifle and a M16 that was given to him. I would guess that the writer was not comfortable, and only included guns where necessary.

    My 2 cents…


    • Laura Says:

      You are probably right, Mr Bill. Interesting choice of main character then, huh?

      I can appreciate a story without gratuitous violence or gun play, but taking a firearm along does not mean one has to use it. I carry concealed everyday so I’m not at a disadvantage in a violent situation, but I have never once used it. In a post-collapse world, if the bad guys know you are armed, that may be all that is needed to deter them. They would probably rather pick an easier target than risk losing any skin themselves.

      Thanks for your input.


What do you think?

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

%d bloggers like this: