Saturday, March 12, 2016

Sheinmel, Courtney.  Edgewater.  Amulet see Harry Abrams  2015  317  $17.95  ISBN 978-1-4197-1641-6   hs    Conflict    E-BN     

Lorrie is dismissed from an elite riding camp for nonpayment of fees.  When she gets home to squalid Edgewater, she realizes that the money in a trust established by their mother has disappeared without a trace.  Her sister Susie, two years younger, collects stray animals and has a questionable boyfriend.  Without supervision, the animals leave the house looking and smelling atrocious.  Lorrie’s aunt and guardian suffers from mental illness and is not concerned about the family’s destitution.  The house is an eyesore in a wealthy area, and Lorrie feels the stigma of living there.  As she struggles with finding a way to bring in money, including selling her beloved horse, she comes into contact with the wealthy and influential Copeland family, especially Charlie, the teenage son.  Worlds collide in most unexpected ways, and many surprises await the reader of this novel with superbly drawn characters.  Tension abounds to keep the reader flipping the pages to see what comes next.  This is a wonderful book about family, love, secrets and the ways in which having lavish amounts of money can affect a person.  The mystery of the missing inheritance builds continuously throughout the book.  A romance tucked within a story of family secrets will appeal to a wide range of readers: mystery fans, romance fans, realistic-fiction fans, and readers who like character driven novels.  

Summary: It is hard to reconcile the life of Lorrie, who attends a posh private high school and summers at elite riding camps, with the run-down house where her sister and scatterbrained aunt live.  This is a fine character-driven plot with many surprises.  Gr 8-12.    

Secrets-Fiction, Families-Fiction, Hoarders-Fiction         --Lois McNicol

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