Author: Courtney Sheinmel
Genre: Family/Slice of Life/Drama
Review: I loved the opening chapter of this book it was great at gripping the attention of the reader. We meet Lorrie who has been living a very privileged life but she is now going through serious financial hardship. Despite being a teenager she is bearing the burdens of an adult because of her absent mother and erratic Aunt Gigi.
I personally don’t read a lot of family dramas because they can be extremely cliched and out-dated but I found Edgewater to be a new, refreshing take on the genre.
Lorrie Hollander lives in “that” house. Part of the exclusive, privileged town of Idlewild, Long Island – surrounded by mansions decorated in sheer opulence and grandeur – stands Edgewater. Once a symbol of wealth and prestige, it is now the eyesore of the community. Decaying, filthy and home to several creatures carrying disease, Edgewater represents everything wrong with Lorrie’s life. Neglected Lorrie’s only comfort is her trust fund that allows her to escape to the best prep school on the East Coast.
When Lorrie is called into the office and told her stay is no longer viable due to insufficient funds, Lorrie finds herself back at Edgewater for the summer and quickly realises just how dire the situation is. We can clearly see she feels with every passing moment living in a sprawling wasteland that feels more like a prison.
Throw in Charlie Copeland, who has taken a fancy to Lorrie, she feels like she’s running out of time. Desperate to save her family whilst pursuing the mutual attraction with Charlie and figuring out a way to keep him from finding out she’s one of “those Hollanders”, Lorrie finds herself pulled into an old family mystery that if revealed could bring down the fragile house of cards the families of America’s most privileged postcode have sought to keep stable. This book is absolutely filled with beautiful imagery, searing emotion and fabulous storytelling, Edgewater is a truly special book.
Edgewater is beautifully written, with lush description. The pages flowed so easily and never faltered. I loved how real and flawed Lorrie was. It broke my heart to follow her emotional journey as Sheinmel pulls no punches and brings home just what a haunting loss Lorrie and her sister have been subjected to.
There are a lot of serious issues raised in this book and Sheinmel does a great job of balancing their inclusion within the story without letting them overwhelm the plot and equally without the graveness of the subject matter being brushed over.
I loved the romance between Lorrie and Charlie however I would like to have seen more development of it as by the end as I felt I didn’t know enough about Charlie to truly invest in his character.
The ending seemed a little rushed and I would have loved to have seen more of the secondary characters and discovered how they coped with the revelations that unfolded.
Overall Edgewater is an engaging YA novel, that will be loved by teens and adults alike. Sheinmel’s writing is beautiful, gripping and yet so brutally honest and real which is something that can be truly lost in family dramas. I will definitely be picking up more books by the author in the near future.
This Book was sent to me by the publisher Abrams & Chronicle
Buy it here:
Kindle Edition: www.amazon.com