Water's Edgeby Published 20 Jun 2017
In 1888, the impoverished Levesque family becomes one of thousands of French Canadians forced to leave their beloved country and seek employment in the booming textile mills of Fall River, Massachusetts. Young Emilie Levesque's initial culture shock is eased by her intelligence and adventurous nature—and by her budding friendship with Angeline Fournier, the U.S.-born daughter of a fellow immigrant family. As they grow into young women, their close relationship is a welcome respite from the stifling heat, dust-filled air, deafening noise, and mind-numbing work at the mill.
Emilie knows she is different but has no words for what she is or what she feels. All she knows is that she wants Angeline with her always. Despite her own hidden attraction to Emilie, Angeline cannot conceive of life beyond what all 19th century girls are taught to aspire to: a husband, a home and a houseful of children.
A life-altering kiss and painful parting will lead the women on very different paths—until an unthinkable tragedy brings Emilie back to Angeline's side. But can these loving friends ever cross the forbidden boundary between the warmth of affection and the heat of desire?
A deeply moving historical romance by the bestselling author of First Fall and Two Kinds of Elizabeth.
"Water's Edge" Reviews
This is an story which exposes the difficulty of discovering one's difference in the closed minded society of late 1800 early 1900. Adding to that, the main characters are lower class and living in a rural environment. The two women chose different ways to face their feelings. Emilie is curious and avid of knowledge even overcoming her family circumstances and when is forced to let school she finds ways to further learning. Angeline, more subdued to the catholic traditions, choses a traditional path leaving her feelings towards Emilie in a second plane. It has made me sad in several parts. They are some unfinished points. But in resume, this is a worth reading book.
As a kid and teen, I read many many historical fiction novels about girls and teenage girls in French Canadian families, some of them romance and some of them not. It was an absolute joy to find this book, from a tiny genre I loved as a young thing, and to rediscover it as lesbian romance. It's an incredibly special thing that warms my heart on so many levels. I knew this book was going to be special and oh boy was it ever.
This book is told in four parts, and follows the stories of best friends Emilie and Angeline from young girls to young women. Emile moves to Fall River, Mass from Quebec, Canada with her family, where they will work at the cotton mill. Soon Emilie and Angeline must leave school too and work alongside their parents. Angeline is resigned to marry Emilie's brother and be a mother. But it is Emilie who loves Angeline just as much as her brother does, and a kiss between them reveals the passion between them is just as real. Emilie thirsts for so much more, and travels to Boston, where she finds work in a bookstore and a whole new world. Its a beautiful story of friendship and families, sacrifice and love, and growth. Sometimes you have to move away, learn and grow and soak it all up, before you find yourself and you can truly be that self for somebody else. No matter how many years pass or how many miles between you, true love will always prevail.
The author covers many many years from start to finish, but it doesn't seem rushed, its really nicely paced. As someone who loves historical fiction, I thought the details were perfect, just the right amount, but not over the top (and I have read over the top details).
I loved Emilie's thirst for knowledge. Loved it. It was one of those magical moments when you see yourself in a character and boom there's your kindred spirit. It just makes the book all the more wonderful when you find yourself in it.
There were so many wonderful, sweet, moments and so many that had me tearing right up. Gosh what an emotional journey and one I will never forget.
I'm definitely buying this in paperback and definitely reading everything else by Genevieve Fortin.
If you love historical fiction, this one is one of the absolute best in the lesfic world! If you love a good heart wrenching romance, this one is for you too!
Absolutely love historical fiction. Water's Edge read as something that I think I could love.
1888...an impoverished Levesque family are one of a large group of people that are forced to flee their beloved French Canadian land and seek refuge, shelter, and employment in Massachusetts. We meet young Emilie...a wonderful young woman that makes the most of her situation and environment...she is adventurous and brave and easily adaptable from a struggling situation. She is a breath of fresh air to read about. She meets a girl, Angeline...another immigrant girl that came to Massachusetts with her family. They grow up together, they form a unique bond, their friendship becomes something more than just two girls being silly together. There is more between them....but in that time...in that world...very unheard of. They are expected to have husbands..make themselves useful as wives and then mothers. It's scandalous for the time...quite the same to read about it.
It is unique in that I have never come across historical fiction with a solid LGBTQ plot set in this time period. But it existed right?? So the stories are there to create. I like that this story told this wonderful tale and did it so well. It was beautiful and bittersweet. I would absolutely recommend this book.
Thanks as always to the great peeps at goodreads, to Genevieve Fortin and to Bella Books for my free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review to which I gladly and voluntarily gave.
This is the third book I have read by this author but some how it didn’t quite capture me me like the first two I’ve read;First Fall and Dingo’s Recovery. Don’t get me wrong it’s not a bad book by any means I just couldn’t seem to connect with the three main characters,things seemed to evolve really quickly once they grew up and moved on with little time to develop their separate relationships.Perhaps when I read it again I may enjoy it better,please give it a try .
Great book wonder wonderful messages
This was one of the best books I have read in a long time. Kept my interest and told me much about the history of this time. The characters were wonderful. I wanted to read more.