Reading time 4 mins

I really enjoyed Edgewater. I know it got mixed reviews but I thought it was very well written. I could totally picture the town, the house, the girl, the horse, and the boy. This was just such a sweet story of a sprawling mansion falling apart and the family that inhabited it.

Review: EDGEWATER by Courtney SheinmelEdgewater by Courtney Sheinmel
Published by Harry N Abrams Incorporated on September 8th 2015
Pages: 320
Genres: Young Adult, Animals, Horses, Family, Multigenerational, Sports & Recreation, Equestrian, JUVENILE FICTION, Social Issues, Adolescence
provided by Cleis Press, Copy provided by publisher via Edelweiss, Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley

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Lorrie Hollander used to be a rich girl, but now she s lost everything because of the secrets and lies of the people around her. It's been 12 years since Lorrie's mother skipped town and left Lorrie in the care of her unstable aunt Gigi. Together they live in a neglected, decrepit mansion called Edgewater, the eyesore in a town of extraordinary wealth and privilege.

When Charlie, the son of an esteemed senator, takes an interest in Lorrie, her shame for her family and lifestyle runs deep. But what she doesn t know is that Charlie s family is hiding something, too, and that their secrets are inextricably tied. Now Lorrie must confront the truth about her family and everything she ever thought she knew about herself.

Lorrie used to have it good, but that was a long time ago, before her mother ran off. While living among the rich might sound nice, it sucks when the house you have is falling apart and full of garbage, and the only money you get comes from your flighty aunt. Her aunt is suppose to manage the money left for her and her sister, but her aunt is a little bit crazy. Instead of taking care of Lorrie and her sister, she let the house go to hell and stopped paying the bills. Lorrie finds herself in the dark and hungry. Then Charlie, the senator’s son, and the most eligible guy in town, takes an interest in Lorrie. Her whole world changes when she meets his Dad face to face and he calls her by her mother’s name. Maybe he knows how to find her?

Ugh! I probably didn’t do a good job on recapping the book. Basically, it is about a girl who doesn’t have many options. I could relate to Lorrie because she seemed so human in this story. I could really feel her angst in the story, it was really frustrating. She really doesn’t have many allies, and that is crappy feeling. I loved how her sister turned it around on her by pointing out that she just worried too much. Gah, that is the last thing a worrier needs to hear!


I could really picture Edgewater, the sprawling house that had been neglected for the past 12 years. The author was crafty with the details of the mess that resided in the home, I could easily see it and it totally grossed me out. I felt really bad for the house, I know that sounds weird but Lorrie really felt attached to it and wanted things to be much better for her and her sister. I empathized with Lorrie so much in her situation, and that made me really root for her to have a happy ending. Suddenly I didn’t care that she was rich enough, at least at one time, to own a horse, or live in a nice location. I could see why having rich friends might be a pain in the butt. I understood why she didn’t just ask for help. I understood that Lorrie’s situation wouldn’t get better if she told everyone. I wouldn’t have been able to keep quiet, but then again, I grew up with loving adults around me. Lorrie and her sister had been abandoned by their father and their mother, so I have no idea what that did to their trust.


Also, did I mention that Lorrie has a horse? Well, she does. Their bond brought me to sad happy tears. That is all I am going to say about that. Honestly, the romance in this story was of little interest to me. It was cute and all, but I felt like the romance was more of a catalyst to get her and the senator in the same room. The thing that really got me about this book was the feelings it evoked about wanted to fit in and pretending to be something you are not. Lorrie has become an expert at hiding her family from her friends. Lorrie isn’t the only one with family secrets though.

So, I pretty much liked this book. I think it covered some heavy topics, but it didn’t feel too serious. I was actually kind of sad when it ended because it flowed so well and was a good read. This is like a riches, to rags, to riches story. It touched my heart, seriously.

My Rating


About Courtney Sheinmel

Courtney Sheinmel is the author of several books for kids and teens including Edgewater, Positively, Sincerely, and the Stella Batts series for young readers. Her books have received numerous awards, including the Sequoyah Award (Positively), a National Parenting Publication Awards honorable mention (the Stella Batts series), and have appeared on recommended lists, including the New York Public Library's Stuff for the Teenage, and the ABC Best Books for Children. In addition to writing, Courtney served as a judge on the national level for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and she received a National Scholastic Outstanding Educator Award for her work as a writing instructor at Writopia Lab, a non-profit organization serving kids ages 8-18. Courtney lives in New York City.

I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

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