Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Finding Edward, by Sheila Murray {ends 8/22}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

The racket of sound is the rattle and clang of a passing trolley. Edward is on a street corner. It is a cold day and his hands are wrapped in strips of cloth. He’s wearing an oversized pair of shoes, insulated with more fabric. He has a cart with him. A small thing with wheels that is piled high with newspapers. Edward must be fourteen now, grown a couple of inches. His skin seems darker, though his eyes reveal the same contradiction, apprehension and defiance

He is holding a newspaper and shouting, “Telegram. Evening Edition. Bennett’s New Deal.” There is urgency in his voice. Now that he is his own man, newspaper sales are the difference between food or not. He’s run from the children’s home. They say he still owes them money, for keep that was never paid. He sells his papers on a corner that is across town, where they’re unlikely to find him. If they do, he’ll take the beating and move on.

Cyril is sure he’d feel it if the mysterious Edward has died. He keeps searching for clues, initially feeling like Edward is his only ‘friend’ in his new Canadian home.

Official synopsis:

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Finding Edward, by Sheila Murray {ends 8/22}
Cyril Rowntree, a mixed-race Jamaican, migrates to Canada after his mother and surrogate grandfather die. Cyril arrives in Toronto and sets about earning a degree, works two jobs and begins to navigate his way through the implications of being racialized in his new land.

A chance encounter with a panhandler named Patricia leads Cyril to a suitcase full of photographs and letters dating back to the early 1920s. Cyril is drawn into the letters and their story of a white mother’s struggle to come to terms with the need to give up her mixed-race baby, Edward. Abandoned by his white father as a small child, Cyril feels a compelling connection to the boy and begins to look for the rest of Edward’s story.

As he searches, Cyril unearths hidden pieces of Black history and gradually gains the confidence to trust his own judgment.

Cyril has never known anything besides his life in Jamaica, where he shared a home with his mother and two younger siblings, and had spent a lot of time with his mom’s employer, Nelson. When his mom dies shortly after Nelson died, Cyril’s siblings stay in Jamaica to live with their aunt, and he is sent to Canada to live with distant relatives he doesn’t know and attend University.

The story of Cyril’s new life and discoveries in Canada is beautiful. It’s not beautiful because everything is right in the world, but because it feels so real. Cyril learns that opportunities always have a cost, and frequently that cost varies based on who you are, what you look like, and where you’re from. As Cyril tries to find Edward and prove that he’s real, he meets other students and people in the city who let him share their journey as well. 

Spending time in Cyril’s world, with his few school friends, his Jamaican family, possibly crazy Patricia, and the stories Mr. Addo has to share is so enlightening and comforting. This book was definitely 4 out of 5 stars from me. It was an enjoyable read, while also teaching me a little more about Canadian history, and the fascinating history of Africville. I’d recommend this book to those who like family dramas, 1900s historical fiction, and stories about Canada.

{click here to purchase}

Becki Bayley likes listening to music while she works, relaxing with a chilled old-fashioned while she reads, and knowing that her nails are neatly polished. She posts more book reviews and some of her activities on her blog,


One of my lucky readers will win a copy of Finding Edward!

Giveaway will end on Monday, August 22nd, at 11:59pm ET, and winner will be contacted via emial and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

Open to both U.S. and Canadian residents.

Good luck!

Finding Edward, by Sheila Murray


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