Edgewater by Courtney Sheinmel
|Edgewater by Courtney Sheinmel|
|Reviewer: Zoe Morris|
|Summary: Teen fiction with a bite, this boasts an outstanding mix of family drama, political intrigue and good old fashioned romance|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 336||Date: September 2015|
|Publisher: Harry N Abrams Inc|
|External links: Author's website|
Lorrie may run with the big dogs, but right now she's more of a mutt. Her mother is AWOL and her aunt is becoming more eccentric by the day. She's politely asked to leave her sleepaway riding camp when payment fails to arrive, and so she sets off home to sort it all out. Again. It's becoming something of a habit this need to act the grown up while the real grown ups fail to make the grade.
Maybe a couple of months at home by the beach won't be all that bad, though. Her best friend Lennox is also around, and this is the summer before the last year of high school. It's their year. Plus there's a cute boy hanging around, adding a little mystery to the close knit neighbourhood. Lorrie soon realises, though, that this is Charlie, son of a senator, grandson of a former president. And way out of her league. Because Lorrie may live in one of the wealthiest beach spots on the east coast, but her family's circumstances have changed and they're something of a joke in the town.
Lorrie is a complex character, far more than the poor little rich girl you might initially imagine her to be. She has lead a privileged life but she's done so without much family support, and it's sorely missed. The one thing she could rely on was there being money in the bank to see her through but when her Trust fund goes missing she realises quite how little she actually has.
The parallels to Grey Gardens were a little lost on me but in my mind I had Lorrie and Lennox pegged to a Gossip Girl world that was now beginning to crumble. Far from being depressing to read about their lives of luxury (or former luxury in Lorrie's case) I found myself drawn into their world and wishing I could be a permanent resident, or even pass through like that summer Taylor Swift dated a Kennedy. Even as Aunt Gigi and sister Susannah tried to dull the waters somewhat, with their unruly boys, inappropriate attachment to fleabag animals and general mental instability, I was still hooked. Just as foreigners think we must all know the Queen or at the very least a member of her close family, I've always believed the cliché that anyone worth knowing in America has at least as their next door neighbour a serving senator or former congressman, and there's nothing quite like being proved right. Charlie's family have their secrets and skeletons, just as any good politicos would, and it added an extra dimension to an already intriguing story.
Lorrie is assuming the role of a grown up for much of this book, taking responsability for things most 17 year olds don't need to concern themselves with, such as pawning items to pay the electricity bill, or stealing toilet paper from work just as there's none in the house. But despite all of this, she is still a teenager, not quite out of high school. Of course as an American teenager, she has access to cars and credit cards that set her apart from her British peers, but she's still just a kid with a crush at times, and it's hopelessly endearing.
This is a straight forward book in so far as it starts at the beginning with no flitting back and forth into voices from the past. But it's probably better compared to a winding country lane than a Roman road because although it's all going forward in one direction, there are lots of twists and turns along the way, leading to a cliff top at which you have to hope everyone can screech to a halt. The ending is the sort you can guess from a few chapters before, but it's not the type you can predict from the very beginning and you have to pay attention to the clues at the time if you're to work it out.
It's an incredibly satisfying read, from start to finish and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending us a copy. Readers of this age may also enjoy Good Girls by Laura Ruby.
You can read more book reviews or buy Edgewater by Courtney Sheinmel at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Edgewater by Courtney Sheinmel at Amazon.com.
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