Publication Date: April 20, 2013
In Water’s Edge by Jane Riddell, Magdelyna, a hotelier, gathers her four children for a reunion in Switzerland she has no idea of the unseen baggage they bring with them. Water’s Edge is a story of choices made and life disappointments. Can any of them rise above?
The author, Jane Riddell, gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.
Water’s Edge is a character-driven novel set on the banks of Lake Lucerne in Brunnen, Switzerland. I have been to Lake Lucerne and remembered the stunning blue water and vast openness but used one of the modern marvels of our world — Google Maps — to get a sense of the location of the family hotel.Water’s Edge is the coming together of a very distant mother to her equally distant children. All are involved and have secrets they have kept and would like to continue to keep.
Riddell describes her novel as being of the “quiet women’s fiction” genre. I have no idea what “quiet women’s fiction” is and still don’t after reading Water’s Edge. Reading the description, I thought that the narrative might be slow and belabored but Riddell manages to keep her plot development brisk. The petals of each flower unfold the further we get into the story. We get to know each character thoroughly within a very short period of time. Their choices are often inscrutable to the reader, but they come together at the end in a way that was perhaps too easy for the depth of their problems. It leaves the reader with a feeling that they have been entertained while making them feel that they’ve read something of substance.
Riddell’s writing style flows easily and each character has a relatable story line. One daughter’s marriage is falling apart, another is a lesbian whose partner ran away with the sperm donor and their child, another is having trouble with a teen child. The fourth child feels extreme guilt and the need to make some life changes. There’s an air throughout of saving the next generation and if it’s not too late, themselves as well. Technically speaking, Water’s Edge is a very well-written book that could fit easily on bookstore shelves with other family saga authors.
Water’s Edge is not the sort of book that I’d normally gravitate toward. I’m not a family-secrets-revealing and relationships-mending-kind of person but if you are, I think you would really like Water’s Edge. Tightly written and well plotted, this novel keeps the reader entertained.
If family sagas are your thing, read an excerpt and buy Water’s Edge by Jane Riddell on