Twelve years ago, Lorrie Hollander's mother left Lorrie and her younger sister Susannah with their aunt Gigi, an eccentric woman living in Edgewater, a decaying mansion that no longer holds any of its original splendor. While Gigi and Susannah are more likely to give into their whims and whimsy, to adopt wild animals and act on impulse, Lorrie would rather have a more structured life, to act like she has everything under control, and make sure no one ever, ever comes over to the house. As the years went on, Gigi's hoarding problem has only gotten worse, causing the mansion to resemble a ruined, abandoned landmark more than a home.
Attending boarding school helped Lorrie escape the chaos of her home; she also found solace in riding horses. But this summer, everything changes. When her aunt fails to make the proper payments for equestrian camp, Lorrie is sent home. While trying to deal with her aunt, whose handle on both finances and reality are only getting worse, and her sister, whose idle boyfriend is now living with them, Lorrie learns that they don't have the money for her to return to school, either. As her world crumbles around her, Lorrie begins working at a stable to earn money and take care of her horse, Orion. She leans on her best friend Lennox for support occasionally, but she mostly keeps her problems private.
Then she becomes friends with Charlie Copeland, a senator's son. Though the Copelands throw Gatsby-like parties and always smile for the camera, Lorrie learns that Charlie's life isn't all that it's cracked up to be. As their friendship deepens, Lorrie must decide whether or not to confide in Charlie - and whether or not she's ready for the truth about her own family.
Edgewater by Courtney Sheinmel is the story of a girl taking a deeper look at the cards life dealt her and finally learning how to deal with them. It's about taking off the blinders and dealing with the truth of the matter rather than trying to hide things from others and from yourself. It's about what to accept, what to keep, and what to let go. Put this book in the hands of those who enjoy Sarah Dessen and Deb Caletti. They won't be disappointed.
Read an excerpt of the book.
My favorite lines from Edgewater include:
That was my life these days: a series of doors slammed shut. - Page 62
If Mom had stayed, surely my sister would be a different kind of girl. And Gigi wouldn't be headed back to the house of horrors in tears. And I wouldn't be standing here, lost between them. - Page 124
This is what it's like when someone you love disappears on you: You try to find the pieces to hold on to, the things no one can take away. - Page 231
It was the story I told myself, and my sister, and my friends. It was the story I put out into the world. [...] There are the stories people tell you about your life, and then there's the truth about it, which is completely your own. - Page 312