A free black man in London wanders too close to the docks on the wrong day. A woman gives birth alone in a barn loft near an Australian outback crossroads. A mother removes her apron, walks away from her family, and tells her secrets only once. A woman in a California living room sobs as her husband informs the assembled adult children that the youngest is only half-brother to the rest. A mental health agent in Idaho struggles with addiction, bureaucracy, and an affection for one of her charges, a dark-haired transient from Australia. In Paula Marie Coomer’s Jagged Edge of the Sky connections of blood and circumstance emerge from a kaleidoscopic narrative in which these and other characters navigate rugged personal terrains of loss and hope. The resulting literary landscape is spare and challenging as the Australian outback, mythical as the American West. With a relentless eye, Paula Marie Coomer flinches from neither the gruesome nor the humorous in this fractured tale of loners, siblings, parents, and lovers.